I can't believe it has been almost a week. The days have flown by, but I don't remember much about them. Calls have been made, accounts have been closed, debts have been forgiven, arrangements for donations have been made, and the funeral has been planned. I went to a few personal appointments too. It's slowly coming together, but there's still so much to do.
I still have my mother here, close by. I'm not quite ready to let her go out on her own, and I don't know that I am quite ready to be on my own either.
The past week seems like a blur, but based on my notes, quite a few things got done. Yesterday, I went to see my dad's body to say good bye. It felt good to see him and tell him everything I had wanted to say the past week, and to get closure. I needed to tell him that I was sorry for not being there for him before and during his final moments, but also to tell him I forgave him and didn't blame him for his decision to leave in the way he did. I held his hand and told him about how I am doing. He looked so peaceful, like he was resting. I can't remember the last time my father looked at peace. I'm always going to miss him, but I am so glad for the time I got to spend with him yesterday. It helped with the closure I needed.
After the viewing, we went to one of his favorite restaurants, Steamers, and ate fish and chips and looked out at the water. It was nice to do something that he enjoyed doing.
There's still a big hole in my heart, but it hurts less every day. I know that some days will be harder than others. After almost 16 years, it will be strange to never go to his apartment again after I finish emptying his home. It will be strange to not get random calls from him talking about a food creation he made with salmon, ramen noodles, veggies, and some mystery ingredient. This father's day will be hard, as will his birthday one week later. I guess you just find ways to honor those that you love and try to move on with your new life.
More than my hurt for my loss, I so badly want to find a way to change things with the state of mental health care. There's no reason that people should suffer. There's no reason we have overburdened systems, and too many patients and not enough qualified people to help. There's so much that can be done on a personal level, just by reaching out and taking care of one another. That's just my soap box though. I am sure I will have more on this, as the ideas that are floating around in my head become more solid.
My love to each of you,