The actual official end to my father's life.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Most of you who have known me since at least the last BL Lime challenge know that my father passed away unexpectedly in March of this year. Those of you who didn't know it's really not a big deal. I hadn't spoken to my father in about 8 years, he was a person that once I became old enough to make my own decisions, really could no longer be a part of my life because of his abusive nature and alcohol dependence. I have a half sister and she was not in contact with him either. My father had decided to leave everything and go live in Egypt and learn about our Arabic heritage and culture as well as family history. Actually, I really cannot say his death was unexpected (it was) but he had been ill for a very long time due to his drinking and smoking. When I was 22 I worked in administration for the largest hospital in the Detroit area, my father's brother who had suffered from type 1 diabetes all his life was in dire need of a kidney. My father tried to be a donor but during his testing they had already found masses in his lungs back then. I only knew this because I happened to have access to all the medical records of the hospital. My father never told a soul that he was ill in any way. And honestly I knew better not to bring it up, that was just how my father was. So I had known he had health issues but did not know at the time of his death he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Lucky for him he didn't suffer, instead the smoking habit he continued since he was 18 caused enough hypertension to cause first a small stroke, which he survived but had no clue, and then a massive one that did claim his life. In that respect I'm thankful that he went rather quickly.
Anyway the only reason I'm drudging up all of this again now is because my father's estate is finally to be settled this week. I received an email this evening regarding all of the final paperwork. I think I remember explaining a bit of the drama that went on prior to my father's funeral in Arlington. However I really don't think I truly went into how upset I really was over his death and the circumstances things between us had been left. Since my father passed overseas it took a month to get his body released and brought back. And then because my father was a highly decorated soldier from Vietnam and had the privilege of being buried in Arlington we were told it would take another 4 months before a funeral could be arranged. I was really having a terrible time over having to deal with everything despite how strong I tried to be. I had my husband's family around me constantly. In fact they were far better than anyone I was related to by blood. My family was fighting over money, while I was realizing how much my father would never know about me and what my life had become. I would go to work and sit in my office and get nothing done at all. Everyone was incredibly understanding but to go one like this for over a month was just awful. I would have days where I was completely fine and then have stretches of two or three where I was a total mess, crying non-stop. I know my husband tried so very hard to be there and understand, he knew what it was like to lose a parent, but his circumstances were very different he was extremely close with his mother. My parents divorced when I was 5 or 6 and after that my father really wasn't a constant in my life. When I was 10 my mother began dating a man and the relationship lasted into my college years, this man never married my mother but always considered and treated me as if I was his daughter since he never had any children of his own. This is the man I grew up knowing as my Dad. I still consider him to be even now, he's very elderly and in quite poor health but still alive and living in Michigan. I take care of him in every way he could possibly need. I know I owe him that for everything he has done for me most of my life. But with his health so poor and my schedule it's been so very long since I have seen him. We talk on the phone all the time but it's not the same.
I must say I've been very blessed in my life to have such wonderful people care about me. When I was engaged to my ex and moved to London I knew no one at all not a single soul. My ex was a music producer at the time and it was through him that I met my present father in law, who strangely enough befriended me and eventually hired me. So in an odd way I've always had a father like figure there for me. And I wouldn't be married now if I had never met him and become good friends.
It was one very depressing rainy weekend during the time after my father had died that my now father in law realized just how bad off I was. I remember him coming over and spending like 15 hours straight with me. Comforting me and trying to help me talk out my distress and pain.
That next Monday I went into one of my offices early in the morning and received a phone call, a rather alarming one in regards to my father's funeral. I was told special arrangements had been made and that my father's funeral would not be 4 months out but rather in 3 weeks. I remember being frantic knowing I had tour dates I had to be at and such..how could they just arrange his funeral and not even make sure I could attend? I got off the phone and called my assistant, she came in and informed me everything was arranged, that all of my positions had been notified of my absence and that I was to show up at the airport at a certain time 3 weeks from then. I was also relieved of all my duties until after I returned. Till this day, I have no idea what happened or how my father's funeral was magically expedited when it was something that never happened.
Fast forward to tonight....the paperwork, the final element truly involving my father and his death. Again I'm upset, why I have no idea...I honestly don't think I will ever truly understand it. We buried him 4 months ago. I have heard nothing at all from anyone since the service. I went on with life..and work and was fine, until now. I'm really understanding that in the next week it will all be over for good. I guess a part of me was still holding on to something...maybe the idea he really hadn't died and was just off somewhere and we still weren't in contact. And in a spiritual way you could say that. But the real finalization has truly hit me. He's gone and it's over for good. And it ended with a legal form signed by me in black ink. I don't think it can get any more final than that. Maybe now this will finally leave me and let me have peace, all I can do is pray that it does.