Gone, Daddy, Gone

The horrific smell of a disinfected hospital was the first thing that slowly cracked away my shell of numbness that night. December 14th at about 8 PM. It’s nothing someone who is 15 is ready to see. No matter how many horror movies, or gore flicks I’ve seen, or how ballsy I thought I was. No amount of strength could prepare me for the sight I was about to witness.
There he lay, in a bed, tubes, wires and other wise coming from him. He was already gone. The Iron Lung, as my mom and I called it, was all that was keeping him alive. That and our refusal to let him go. My father spent a month in the hospital but it felt like years and eternity’s. Kidney failure. Heart failure. Pneumonia. Everything that went wrong did. And then the worse happens.
I saw him, 14 minutes before he died. The mechanic rise and fall of his chest will follow me to -my- grave. His skin, still a yellow tone from jaundice, was now a stale looking color. His eyes were almost fully closed, but from my position at the end of his bed, it looks like he was glaring right at me. For so long, I watched him struggle to survive and now, I stand and watch my father die.
People say that actually seeing the person at the funeral, laying there dead, is what haunts you. No. The day of his funeral I spent in a dream-like haze, covered by pools upon pools of tears. But haunting me forever is the image of my father.
14 minutes before he died, I said goodbye.
As hard and as long as I wished that goodbye, that night, didn’t mean forever… It did.

Shadow6 Shadow6
2 Responses Mar 18, 2009

Don't hang onto the end of his life.... try and hang onto the great times you had with him before that.<br />
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My dad died on 12th December, 2009.. and what haunts me is his body. My sister picked me up from tuition and told me in the car. I didn't wanna go home. I didn't even cry. Till a few yards away from the house I burst into tears and my sister had to stop the car and hug me. I was shuddering as I entered the room.. and I saw his body on the floor.. covered with a white sheet. I couldn't look at it. and i went to see how my mom was doing... a few hours later when they had to take the body away. my mom and sister told me to hug him and kiss him one last time. i remember moving close to his cheek. and his face was so dark and he had a strange ex<x>pression on his face. he was dead. and he wasn't inside. it wasn't him. I didn't feel any attachment to his body. what i loved had already gone.<br />
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that haunts me. so many times... but sometimes u just need to push away the sad terrible thoughts and try and be a little happier. if not for the ones who love u and wanna see u happy, but for yourself.

I know how you feel. I found my grandfather dead and that image of him dead is what haunted me. The whole funeral all I could see was his dead body sitting in his chair and then his body on a bed in the hospital. Seeing the body in the coffin was nothing. It didn't even look like him anymore. I was haunted by that image for months and even now I still get a flash of it and it scares me.