I’ve debated whether or not to write this post for a long time, but I feel like I really need to get this out in the open.
I’ve been reliving the day my dad died lately. Every single micro second. I’ve been reading comments and texts, looking at pictures and videos, and generally just getting sucked into the memories.
This is the last text I ever got from my dad. I took a screenshot a few hours after. I have a separate folder on my phone for pictures that I took, texts that I saved, and things I don’t want to forget about that day. I saw this text yesterday simply because I was deleting old texts and scrolled all the way to the bottom. The grief hit me like tsunami made entirely of bricks. I cried for what felt like hours. My eyes were swollen and puffy. My head and heart ached. I felt broken.
Today, because apparently my grief has made me a masochist, I went through the entire folder. I opened each picture, each screenshot, each text. I looked at the smiles on my and J’s faces on the way to the hospital, proud of our newly acquired van. I read the texts from Mom telling me that she was calling 911.
I texted this to J exactly two minutes after Dad’s official time of death. I can still see the hallway, the doctors and nurses talking to us, I remember the NP radioing for the chaplain to come join us, I remember just holding Mom in my arms as she sobbed, with tears running down my cheeks. I remember every word the cardiologist said to me, every procedure and attempt they made to save my dad’s life. I remember the smell of antiseptic and cleansers they used to clean the cath lab up before letting us in to see him. I even remember the face of the man who cleaned Dad and the room up so we could see him without even more horrors to embed in our minds.
I remember noticing Dad’s beard and how there was so much more grey in it than I had ever realized. I had seen him the Monday right before and never saw the grey. Because he was so vibrant, so ALIVE.
One day I hope those memories fade. I hope I can forget those sights, faces, and smells. I hope I can forget the clacking of the chaplain’s shoes in the empty hallway. I hope I can forget noticing that they had missed a couple drops of blood when they were cleaning.
I want to forget it all, but in the same breath I’m terrified to lose those memories so I relive them. I put myself back into those moments. I do it so I never lose my hold on him, so he never leaves me, leaves my family.
I’m terrified to let those memories go. I can’t let them go.