I’ve wanted to start an entry dozens of times in the last two weeks, but I could never figure out how. It would always start with something like, “Dad’s still alive…” and that just seems – weird. Weird because it’s so crass. Weird because it may warrant well wishes like, “Great!” And then what do I say? “Yeah…kinda great…kinda awful since he has made the decision to die and he wants it over already.” We find ourselves in a strange holding pattern where we wait for death to come to our small – but close – family. It’s a very surreal position to be in that seems to hold no precedents or social protocols that I’m aware of.
But I want to talk about it a bit. So here I am.
Dad’s still alive. I was in Knoxville for 10 days preparing for his death. He is in a hospice facility and can coach us as to how to deal with his belongings and what to prepare for his funeral. We did that for a week. Those things were done and then I found myself needing to be home for my job and my family. So, I’m in Alabama while my brother is still in Tennessee with my Dad.
And still I’m waiting.
I’m sure the months of processing of these situations will lead to entries upon entries about death and dying. But today? I’m thinking a lot about choices. We’ve been making a lot of choices as a family and as individuals in the last two weeks. And you know how the typical situation of choices asks you to weigh Pros and Cons? I’ve realized that when both choices have extreme elements of sucktitude – you find yourself comparing Worse Case Scenarios instead. Choice A and Choice B probably have no pros. Or none worth listing. So, you find yourself imagining the Worse Case Scenario for each choice, and then picking the one you could live with more.
We have no idea what the time line is with this situation. Every time my phone rings with the Knoxville area code I wonder if this is the call. But then, I find myself also confident I’ll see my Dad again before he dies.
Either way – this whole situation sucks. I would love to go into all of the details as to why it sucks, but I’ll save that. Just know it sucks in MANY MANY WAYS. My brother and I were raised by my Dad. He’s amazing in ways I can’t even spell out without losing my shit. I know life’s not fair, and sometimes life sucks. But if there is one person in the world who does NOT deserve this method of death? It’s my Dad. And I want to punch someone in the face for that. Unfortunately, I’ve found no volunteers yet.
I’ll end this on a positive note. The Hospice Care world is new to me. I have no idea how what we’re experiencing compares to everyone else. Dad is in a hospice care facility that is the most amazing place I’ve every seen. It’s staffed with great nurses and the facility is gorgeous. He has said repeatedly that he could not have picked a nicer place to die. So for that? For that small thing right now? I’m placing a lot of gratitude.