My husband told me my father passed away.
“Check again, check again.” I plead with my husband.
“Honey, there is no heartbeat. I feel no pulse.” He looks at me, hoping I would believe him.
“No, you are wrong. You don’t even have a stethoscope. What kind of doctor can determine death without a stethoscope? How can you be for sure?” At this point I was screaming in between sobs, shaking my husband, asking him to check again because I am certain he was wrong.
“I don’t need a stethoscope, hon. I’ve checked his pupils. I’ve seen this too many times. I am sorry, your father has passed.”
At that, it registered, that my father was no more. I curled up next to him, hugging his brown, lifeless body, yelled that I was too late to say goodbye. I cried what felt like all of the years of my life and my husband pulled me up, placing his hands around my waist and carried me into the next room.
I couldn’t think about my father being invisible, so I thought about the weather. The sky was a pale blue on the day my father passed away. It wasn’t cold, nor was it hot, but it was a day, that you could picnic or pull your windows down, blaring the radio so loud, the people in the cars around you would wonder if you are deaf. When he died, at 10:30 p.m., a year ago today, I thought to myself, it is too pretty of a day for my father to leave us. He was in a hurry, but I was too. We had a four and a half hours to make it from Houston to Dallas. My husband who usually drives like it is a perpetual school zone, channelled his inner race-car driver, so that I could say goodbye, but we couldn’t make it. We were fifteen minutes late.
One year later, I still think about how I couldn’t make it time. I saw him only a week prior to his passing and the last thing I said to him was, “I love you Dad.” He yelled from his hospice bed, “I love you too.” I try to focus on that moment, but sometimes the grief takes you back to to moments you miss the most.
I miss hearing my father’s voice. I miss arguing with him about the law. I miss watching him play with my daughter. I miss walking into my childhood home, expecting my father and my mother at the kitchen table drinking tea. One year later, the grief doesn’t decrease, but hits you in casual ways, taunting you with reminders of the past.
There is no closure. I don’t think there can be. I hope in the quiet that my father will give me a sign that he is cancer-free, that he is wandering somewhere, pain-free, eating his rice and dal, walking around talking about the things that he loved like politics and his basket business. It hasn’t happened yet, but I will keep waiting, praying that he is just running late, about to give me a sign any time now.
Rudri, That was very moving, I will be thinking of you today. 365 days seems like a lot of time but clearly not when you are talking about grief. Katy
Thanks so much your comment and I appreciate you taking the time out this morning to express your condolences.
Thinking of you today 🙂
Thanks Windy. I appreciate it.
wow, brought a tear to my eyes. Your dad would be proud of ur writing…
Thanks to my number one fan. Love always.
So much pain, I know how it feels. It’s true that it never goes away, but I promise you it will change. A day will come when you will acknowledge it in a different way, it won’t feel so raw. That doesn’t make it easier now, I know. Try if you can to find joy in the memories, they are his gift to you and what will keep you together always.
Hugs on this most difficult of days.
Thanks so much for your honesty. This blogger community is just amazing and I am touched by the number of people who don’t know me, but are sending their comforting thoughts my way. I appreciate the virtual hug.
He was and is always proud of you. I don’t know if you heard it enough, but I know I did–he was so proud of the intelligent, bold, and strong woman and person you were and still are today. You are the reminder of Dad’s strength and fortitude. Thanks for writing this, Rudri ben.
I know Dad was proud of you – in your quiet compassion and calmness. You, my sister, were the strength that Dad, Mom and I looked for during those difficult times. Love you.
You’ve checked the last “first” off the list. You took one breath and one step at a time, and you survived a year. Keep on honoring him one day at a time – in the memories you re-count for your daughter and in the woman you become.
Thanks Brandon. I know you have travelled down my path and you are right, it is the last first I can mark off. I’ve vowed to keep his memory alive one day at a time.
That was moving Rudri. A warm hug to you to ease you through these days.
Thanks Achu. I appreciate the hug.
I had every intention of making it here yesterday to offer my (inadequate) words, but as you know I had quite a day of my own. This piece was moving and brave. I think that spilling our selves onto the page (or screen) does some small part in helping us accept what has happened, the holes we feel in our worlds. I hope so at least. I hope your day was okay and that today is even better. I am so comforted to have found you and others who have been through what I have been through. These losses are not fungible, but they are in some humbling and haunting sense, very universal.
Thank you for sharing this words with me. With us.
This post was in my head for a long time. The words were difficult to write, but by writing them, I acknowledged what happened, trying to make some sense of the grief that I felt and continue to feel. Thanks for your comforting thoughts.
Thank you for sharing this very personal post.
Incidentally, yesterday was my father’s birthday. I lost him when I was in my early teens. Now, many years later, I still feel his physical absence every now and then. I still wonder every now and then if he would be please with what I do and who I’ve become.
So sorry for your loss. I can’t fathom how it must feel to lose your father at such a tender age.
I wish we all had a way to channel our loved ones who have passed on and do a Q and A to find out what they feel about our choices and how we are living our lives.
As I sit here with tears in my eyes, know that I am thinking of you. It has been a year – at the beginning of this month – that I lost my father. I know that it does get easier but the pain is always there somewhere in us.
So sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort in your family and friends during this difficult time. I will be thinking of you too.
Thanks for sharing your story.
This is beautiful and touching. A year can feel so long, and yet so short – can’t it?
Sending you warmth and love this week, Rudri.
Warmth and Love accepted. Thanks so much.
This was so touching, and brought tears to my eyes as it also brought back the vivid memories of my own father’s death. I too got there to late to say goodbye. I too curled up against the lifeless body, completely unaware that perhaps someone would find latching onto a cold body a bit creepy. I too wondered how the weather could be so nice, how people could walk around the city as if nothing had happened. The first anniversary is the hardest. The sole piece of “advice” (though that’s not really what it is) I ever give people is, it doesn’t get less sad, but it does get a bit easier with time.
I hope you had an ok day, and that you remembered and celebrated. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so brave. Even three and a half years later I don’t know if I could do it so I admire your strength.
I appreciate you sharing your story about what you experienced. It was so hard to write it but I felt like it helped me deal with some of the pain that I was forced to embrace in that moment. I am so sorry for your loss and hope that on your father’s anniversary, you too, remember and celebrate.
Hats off to you for pulling out writing a beautiful article while going through the pain.
There are things that mortals like us can’t change but we will be there if you ever need us
Thanks so much for your thoughts and sentiment.
I haven’t cried about the loss of my father for some time. This made it so fresh; I feel your pain. I too had made a trip to see him a week before he passed. I have always been grateful for that.
Fathers make a huge impact on the lives of their daughters, often making us the women we have become. What a blessing to have such a close bond with your father. I am sure he thought of you as a gift to him throughout his life as well.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece in memory of this special person.
Just read your moving blog about your dad. The pain of losing loved one never goes away, but the time will lessen it. I remember your dad and he comes sometimes in my dreams talking to me. You have a beautiful daughter,a loving husband, your mom and sister who are with you to share some of your pain. God bless you.
Naren Uncle and Meeta Aunti,
I hope time will lessen the pain and I know nothing will ever fill the absence of his presence. I think that it is wonderful that my father talks to you in his dreams. It is comforting to know his friends are thinking about him. I appreciate the comment and thanks for stopping by.
Just getting caught up with your blog. Your post was beautiful, and a great tribute to your father. I hope you are doing ok, and know that I’m thinking of you. I never had the honor of meeting your father, but I’m sure he was so proud of you and the wonderful woman you’ve become. Lots of hugs!!
Thanks Kathy. Appreciate the hugs and thanks for taking the time to think about me.
Rudri, you moved me to tears with this. I agree with Katy that 365 days seems like enough time, but it really isn’t when it comes to grieving. I appreciate your openness on such a sensitive subject as the loss of a loved one. It’s uncommon, so I am grateful whenever I come across it.
I believe in our society that death and issues related are presented in a pre-packaged manner. It was important to me to allow people to look into what I’ve experienced. Thanks for your thoughts.
You are very brave, i dont know how you managed to write this moving piece, I was a sobbing wreck right through the piece. Closure i think is a wrong word in the english lexicon. You are right there’s no closure coz the memories of the person you lose always remain “Open” JSK Sister and Take Care
It was a real tough post to write, but for me, writing about my father’s passing helps me accept what has happened and how it happened. I don’t think closure is something that will ever be attained, but at least, I am one step closer to accepting his passing by acknowledging what happened that night.
Through my flood of tears, I want you to know how blessed you are to have such a wonderful man as your father. The kind, quiet soul that he is frames who you are. He will forever grace you with his soothing presence. I imagine it’s his presence with you that will make his parting hurt less and less with each passing day.
Love you, Ru.
Thanks for the lovely compliment. I find comfort from your words. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on this particular post. Love you too.