Tag Archive: death


With everything going on with Mo right now, I should have seen it coming. Bad stuff happens in three’s right? Well, I don’t think I really believe it, but I’ve heard it and it seems to be working its way in here.

I had my first death at work today. Not to say the first time someone has passed away there, just the first time it’s ever happened while I’m working (and this is in almost 7 years of working). It was bound to happen sooner or later. But it still messed with my head. I’m not saying I was a mess over it. I truly believe that she needed to let go because she was suffering so much. And it helped that she passed in her sleep. How many of us get that luxury?

Is that cold of me? I wasn’t at all uncomfortable being in there pronouncing her dead, getting her ready in case the family came in to see her, calling the family. I’m trying to decide if I’m good at dealing with certain things or if I’m just a little too numb to death.

Please stop here. Please don’t bring on a third.

Lets just hope that all the little bad things over the last two days can make up for a third big bad. By the time I went to pick up my son after work and my drink exploded on me (covering me, my drivers and passenger side, my door and dashboard…and the roof), I didn’t even flinch. Just drove my soggy ass to the day home happy that I was only wet and smelled of cherry.

 

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“Call Gramma” Day

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwxL9ekKtbU

It’s November 16. That means I’ll look at my agenda and it will say “call Gramma”. Not why, just to call. If I can’t remember why, then she has full permission to egg my house. You’ll find the note ten days later again. Why?

Today is six years from the day my dad passed away. So today is the day that my Gramma needs me the most. In ten days, it’s the anniversary of his funeral, so she needs me then too. I don’t have anyone calling me, I don’t think I’ve ever remembered to call my brothers on this day, but at least twice a year, I’m a good granddaughter.

A post today by Eggs In A Row talked about being torn as to what to do about her father contacting her.

My response (plus a little extra)

My dad and I had an awful relationship when I was younger. My mom left him when I was 10 and he avoided me most of the time, making excuses not to see me and my brothers. He moved away and my older brother kept contact with him. Sometimes he’d call on my birthday or christmas (not always). My little brother got to know him a little better once he was a teenager. But me? I look like my mom, a lot, and my dad was so awkward around me and spent a lot of time avoiding me because of it (that and I wasn’t afraid to tell him when he was being an ass or childish). Of course, that’s on top of other issue that we had just to make it extra fun.

But ten years ago, when my Hubby (boyfriend then) came to live with my family until we found an apartment, my dad showed up on the door step to see if my brother wanted to drive to Saskatchewan with him for a visit (doesn’t everyone drop by to see if you want to take a 6 hr car ride for shits and giggles?) and he met Hubby. He was the first boyfriend of mine (or friend past childhood even) that had ever met my dad. Kinda seemed like a sign, lol. With encouragement from him, I saw my dad a few times and tried to mend our relationship.

My dad was very sick and slowly dying from Polysistic Kidney Disease and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t convince him to move closer so I could help him out. I was just getting to know him again and we talked every few months and saw each other once a year. Then 6 years ago (today actually) he passed away. It wasn’t the PKD, it wasn’t even the blood infection that hospitalized him. He had a heart attack while I was trying to get on a plane so that I could be with him when/ if he died. I never got to say goodbye, I never got to see his body to confirm in my head that he was gone. But I did get to tell him that I loved him no matter what (and there was a LOT of “what” in there) and he got to tell me that I would always be his little girl.

I know it sounds cheesy, but just think, what could you live with. If you could live with leaving it be, then go ahead. But if it would break your heart to have him (or you for that matter) pass with the way things are, then do what you can. Trying isn’t going to make things perfect, but a “you drive me crazy, hurt me and lots of times I REALLY don’t like you, but you’re my daddy and I love you and I do want things to be better between us” still lets them know you care.

I’ll never really clue in to my dad being gone…not all the way. I don’t have too many  times anymore when I think “I haven’t talked to him in a while” or “why hasn’t he called in so long?” or just “I wonder if he’s doing ok?”. I have the awkwardness of trying to get my son to understand that Grampa is not actually my dad, but a man that passed away before he was born. It doesn’t help that my dad and step-dad can be mistaken for each  other in pictures by even family members, so telling him “that’s not Grampa, that’s Grampa K___, my daddy” has caused issue a couple times. I never got to meet my dad’s dad and my son will never get to meet mine. Kinda depressing. But so far there is no sign that I’ll be passing PKD on to my children so that’s one less strike to the pattern continuing on.

I miss my dad. No, I didn’t get along with him well, but I do have some fond memories. He didn’t know what to do with me past childhood, so the one time he saw me sick as a teenager (I think 17 or 18) he tied me up in a blanket, plopped me on the couch and spoon fed me greek salad (I had no arm access). I found it too endearing to be annoyed. The last time I saw him was a year before he died. It was the day before my older brother’s wedding and I had been up all night because he hadn’t showed up at the bus depot when he was supposed to. Or on the next bus. Not answering his phone. His landlord and friend couldn’t get ahold of him, and the hospital said he hadn’t come in. I was convinced that he died on his way home from dialysis or was laying beaten in an alley somewhere. Finally the next morning, the bus rolls in and off he comes like nothing is wrong. I had a HUGE hissy fit crying in the middle of the bus station and yelling at him and he just gets a big grin on his face because he saw that I cared. So ya, he laughed and smiled and hugged me like I’d given him a present even though I was probably embarrassing him. Somehow, that’s a happy memory for me.

He’s the crazy man that taught me to shoot when I was five, that convinced me that making itchiban was a valued skill in a caregiver (aka me caring for him), that fed me squirrels that my brother shot (ok meal for a little kid, lol) and kept the actual boogie man in the basement to scare us (the family is known for wacked senses of humour) and bad and all, he helped me become the person I am and I wouldn’t ever ask for a different dad.

The Scientist

Today is a day that, every year, I make a point of being with my friends. Today, eight years ago, one of my best friends passed away…on his birthday of all days. He wasn’t sick. He fell off a balcony. An ugly thing about this was that I saw it coming (as much as you can in these things). I remember telling him shortly after he moved into that apartment that he was going to fall off that balcony and die and I’d be really pissed at him. But of course you think that by saying these things you’ll officially stop them from happening, right? But that’s just not the case I guess.

Chris was such an amazing guy, and amazing boyfriend for a while, but even more amazing as my friend. And did I mention gorgeous? Classic ugly duckling syndrome. He never had a clue how beautiful he was inside and out. We dated for a short time, around 6? months, after I gave up pursuing him. Of course most of the time I just thought it was hysterical to go as far out of my way to make the shyest person I had met in a really long time talk to me and I loved flirting with him and seeing how red I could make him. When I came back to Canada after traveling post high school, I went out with my old cadet buddies (aka the friends that I keep no matter what it seems) and he’s a friend of theirs and we all go out dancing. Well, Mr. Shy took to calling me his “bitch” for the entire night and snuggling up to me (which for the record I found hilarious because I knew exactly how he ment it and it wasn’t in a rude fashion at all). Once I informed him that “only my boyfriend would be allowed to call me that” and he looked me straight in the eye with a shit-eating grin and said it again, I knew for certain that I’d finally broken this shy guy and stolen is affections.

But as great a time as we had together, we finally realized that we weren’t “forever” material for each other. One day I called him up and asked him to come over so we could “talk”. He showed up at my house shortly after with a box of all my stuff (well the stuff that he didn’t decide to keep it turned out) that I’d kept at his place. I took one look at it and burst out laughing at us being on the same page so clearly, gave him one last giant kiss, and invited him in to hang out for a while. Not the normal break up, hey? Well, we weren’t normal. For a little while all my buddies stopped calling me, feeling uncomfortable about the break-up and trying to show their support for Chris, not understanding that we were ok. But Chris kept calling me, kept bringing me out to hang with the guys and him so we could all bridge that gap together. He never left me out and after a while it was comfortable enough for us to hang out just the two of us again. And he always treated me great. How could I not love him? How could anyone not love such a fantastic person. And I’m really glad he knew how I felt about him. We spent the day together about three days before he died. I did his hair (he loved it when I’d streak it for him with blonds and red, very similar to what I added to mine actually) and of course I’d have to re-inform him about how some day I’d have a life-sized poster of him on my wall just cause he was so damn pretty. But for some reason as he was taking me home that night I had the burning need to tell him how much I loved him and how he was, along with being  one of my favorite people to walk this earth, one of the best friends I could have ever asked for. We made plans to get together for his birthday a few days later with all the friends and we went merrily our separate ways.

But on the morning of his birthday the phone rang at an ungodly early hour. Hubby (who at that point was Fiance) picked up the phone. He NEVER picks up the phone. Why did he this time? I can’t remember if he cried or if he was just stunned, but he got off and told me that Chris had died and I’d never been gutted so hard in my life. I don’t even remember the next few days except being with his family, and our friends, and putting together a memorial poster for the funeral. At the viewing, I completely broke. You ever held on to a corpse for dear life? Not pretty. Thats about all I remember other than after the funeral the next day, going to his parents and being with his family for a while (they are amazing, like him, and I became very close with them too), and then having a wake to make him proud. We had a toga party. Chris had always wanted a toga party.

I don’t remember what day it was in here, but I had another buddy take me to his apartment so I could collect a few things. I took the sweater that I gave him, I found a picute of our friends I’d made him, some pictures of us, and a few things he’d kept from when we were dating (like a McDonald’s happy meal Gandolph toy that I’d given him as a joke and he held on to even when he’d moved).

I cried so much in those days. And at my wedding it was just awful because I had wanted to ask him to stand up with me in the wedding party (his best friend was also my bridesman) but I’d never gotten around to asking him. And every year as this date approaches I get sad, but as time goes by I am able to look more at the great times we had, and even though I miss him incredibly, I know I don’t have the regrets I could have had, had I not taken that time to remind him how wonderful he was to me.

I love you Chris and I’m so proud to have you as the namesake of my son. If he can grow up to be half the man you were then he will be great. I’ll miss you always.

Now go and tell the people you love how important they are to you, because you want them to know.

p.s. I’ll just share a lesson that Chris learned so that you all don’t have the make the same mistakes. Berreo’s aren’t too bad, but scrambled eggs and chocolate chips are awful together.  😉

Oblivious from stress

I remember thinking to myself last night “November is a crappy month for me” but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember why. You get that nagging, “I’m missing something here”. And this is going to make me sounds awful. I’ve just missed two  days that I was dredding to acknowledge.

I’ve had this problem since I was a kid (although I didn’t know untill it was so blatantly and slightly traumatizingly, pointed out to me when I was in my mid teens). I repress things. Just full on gone sometimes, other times, only for a while. And when you make this realization for the first time, it’s pretty horrifying. “what else have I forgotten?”. So only from reading  another blog tonight, do I realize that I’ve missed my due date. I’d been freaking out leading up, trying to book that day so full that I’d have no time to think, and then it comes along. Most of my plans ended up being cancelled, I had little to do but sit on my rear all day and sign my son up for preschool. And I completely forgot. Didn’t even cross my mind once. How? Then I remembered that the exact same thing happened last time. The only difference is that last time my mother-in-law was around to witness and let me in on what I was missing. I’ve been so stressed and emotional (more than I should for whats currently going on in my life) and I didn’t even make the connection. How can I be so oblivious at times?

Then to top it off, I missed the anniversary of my dad passing. But this, sadly, happens every year. I write on the calendar “call gramma” and then somehow I never manage to look at that little date square leading up to the actual day.  I feel horrible. Not only does the realization return that my dads gone, not just away like I was always used to it, but also knowing that my gramma is sitting there that day, missing her son that never should have passed before her, and I’m of no comfort. My gramma likes to tease that I’m a bad granddaughter because I don’t call enough, but wow, I’m sure earning my title here.

So now I’m reminded why I was dreading November to start, and ashamed that I missed it. Will I ever get my head on straight?

Many people are familiar with “Day of the dead”  celebrated in Mexico November 2nd,  but I’ve been informed of another day that strikes a special chord with me. November 1st is “Day of the little angels” or “Day of the Innocents” . It is the day that people honor deceased children and infants. I never knew such a day existed untill a few days ago and I figured that means many others aren’t familiar with this day either. I thought it was so amazing that Mexico has a day dedicated to our babies, but then I had to wonder even more why this isn’t celebrated everywhere? A day where we are expected to be focusing on the babies we’ve lost and remember them. Too often it feels that people want us to be done with our grieving and to move on as though it wasn’t majorly devastating event. We may be able to get on with our lives, but we will never be able to “get over it”. It’s with us forever, and it should be. Why would we forget our children?

So we should all take a little time tomorrow and honor the memories of the babies we’ve lost.