My dad passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at 58 years old. He was so young, and his passing was only a few days before his birthday. His death was sudden and unexpected. My dad had been dealing with diabetes and all the symptoms that come with it, but he was still working, and we were looking forward to him and my mom coming to visit us this summer.
About two weeks ago my dad fell off of some steps and fell on his face and head. Not long after this, he complained of not feeling well and went into the hospital. The doctor’s found that he was in renal (kidney) failure…it didn’t seem that there was any connection between the hospital stay and the fall. He stayed in the hospital where they continued to do tests and eventually started dialysis. There were a lot of other problems too, but kidney failure was the biggest. He threw up a lot, and complained of his head really hurting. After a four hour dialysis treatment, my dad went home with my mom. He was only home for a day before he started to feel much worse, and while my mom was caring for him, he passed out on his bed while sitting up. My mother called the ambulance and he was taken to the hospital.
He was awake in and out when he first got to the hospital, but he never remembered what had happened. During a CT scan, my dad suffered a seizure and never gained consciousness again. The head injury was to blame this time. Doctors performed a brain surgery in an effort to allow the brain to swell and eventually recover, but when they checked my dad’s brain again later, he had suffered many strokes and seizures while he had been unconscious. He was connected to a breathing tube for two nights before I arrived to say goodbye.
I did not want to see my dad in such a state, but I was also eager to be near him and my family. My farewell was not the kind where you hug and talk back and forth. It was a one-sided conversation full of hope that my dad could hear what I was saying out loud and in my heart. It was so hard to see the condition he was in, and even harder to wrap my head around him passing away. The next morning we gathered as a family and said goodbye before we turned the life support off. He died peacefully and quickly, which was our sincere prayer for him.
I stayed with my mother until the funeral services. We did a lot of preparing and visiting with family. My dad’s brothers, sister, mother and uncle came from California for the funeral. My mom and I were insanely busy while I was there, and it helped to be distracted. Now that I am home, I am feeling a bit confused, overwhelmed and depressed.
My life has changed and it is too soon to say exactly how it has changed.
I believe that we experience things in life to help us have more compassion for others. Now that I have experienced the death of a parent, I feel more equipped to offer love and understanding to those who go through similar experiences.
I also know that I now have a choice. I choose to use this experience to help others and to motivate me to do good. Death and birth bring a lot of clarity about what is really important, and I am determined to focus on the things that last.
My dad has left me behind, but I believe he is busy where he is and looks forward to our reunion as much as I do. I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father, and elder brother, Jesus Christ. I know that I will see my dad again someday and that there is a wonderful plan for every person that has lived, now lives and will live on the Earth.
May peace and comfort come to all those who seek it. If you have already lived through the experience of losing a loved one, please leave a comment below about ways that helped you cope. It will help me and anyone else that reads this.
I am so thankful for all those who have reached out in love, friendship and sympathy during this difficult time. We have seen the blessings come from the prayers and kind thoughts of those who know me and my family.
Side note: I may be writing less frequently in the coming months as I work on a project, but please keep reading.