My Father's Death: A Crash Course in Life Skills
Last week Monday, I watched my father die in front of my eyes. He gestured towards me, and then reached to embrace my mother, then he was gone.
There are no words to explain how this feels.
People send their condolences, but unless they have been in the situation, they have no idea. In the space of a week I have gone from being a 30-year-old who continuously complained about "adulting", to a 30-year-old who has come to accept that this is life, and life is meant to be lived. I googled everything I could to help me work through this grief, after all, I’m a millennial and that’s what we do.
Every article spoke of what people “don’t tell you”, how to cope, that it is okay to cry, it is okay to be vulnerable. But no article identified how it affects the grieving child’s life, from their outlook on social circles to basic day to day tasks. In short, it changes absolutely everything.
Basic day to day tasks now just get done, there is no longer room for hesitation. Should I call the office now and organise the appointment? YES. Procrastination has become a thing of the past. There were times dishes would pile up in the sink and would get done later, no more, it is now or never.
Patience has become allotted to situations where patience is a necessity. No longer do I sit back and let people have meaningless conversations via instant messaging, plaguing me with excuses as to what, why, how and when. Most times they see a read message and a polite end to the conversation.
Friendships have changed. I have removed myself from those whose paths are no longer in sync with mine. I have gained a keen insight (Thanks a lot Dad) and I am finally able to see many for who they are. There is no hate nor animosity, it is a simple realization that not everyone is meant to walk this path of life together.
I have learned that life is to be lived and I am going to put down my phone. Yes, I will get the necessary business done, work, bills and all that good stuff. But whatever held me back from going on that trip, saying what I felt and standing up for myself died with my father.
Finally, I can honestly say that I can say NO. It was not something I learnt. It just happened. The loss changed my perspective without me even realizing it until I saw myself react or not react to situations and people and I know now that it is OK.
Natasha M. Lake