The Death of my Dad – Part II
Posted by truthoughts on June 6, 2008
If you have the ability to listen to this video, please do as you read because it will enhance your reading experience. This was the song that I listened to throughout my grieving period and it was comforting.
As I stated in my previous post, this ended up being one of the most emotionally draining experiences of my life.
So, now I was at my dad’s house and my step mom was there with the youngest of my 3 stepsisters. Though she was the youngest, she was still older than I was. Now, let me begin this part of the story with letting you know that my step mom is a bit over dramatic and a queen of pity parties; this being to the point that my stepsister felt the need to warn me before entering the house so I would know what to expect.
Over the next few days, I would be subjected to listening to the ‘death story’ repeatedly, more times than I could count. At one point, I just had to go outside to get away from it for a while. My stepsister joined me and tried to comfort me, understanding that her mother was being ridiculous, even for the situation. I cannot convey an accurate view of how she was going on about it all, but it just wasn’t normal. I even had other family members take me aside at times to ask me why she was being so outlandish; it really was embarrassing to everyone.
At one point, the family (extended family included) was having dinner at a restaurant and she just flipped. Someone asked her how she was holding up and she verbally bashed them in front of the entire restaurant. It was an elderly woman who had asked; I think she was in her 70’s or so. Then everyone just looked at me like I was suppose to do something about it… I was 19 and hadn’t seen her since I was 8 (she didn’t come to my grandmother’s funeral).
It was like this day in and day out. At one point, I was taking a bath b/c for some reason they did not have a shower in the guest bathroom, and she barged in and started complaining about all sorts of things, like why were people asking her how she was holding up. Oh, did I tell you that they also did not have a shower curtain??? I felt so violated.
Oh my, that reminds me… my sister came in my room one night at about 4 am talking all sorts of gibberish and flopped on the bed. My step mom came in because of the noise and told her to go back to bed. Apparently, she was sleep walking.
Ok, so I think on the third night I was there, my step mom, sister and I all went to dinner – I don’t remember where, but when the waiter came to ask us what we wanted… all of a sudden… BAM!!!! It finally hit me!
Right there in the restaurant I began to cry uncontrollably (which is not like me). I was so embarrassed and felt so alone, I didn’t have anyone to talk to because my step mom was literally loosing it so I couldn’t burden her with my thoughts and feelings, my mom was in another state and I couldn’t call her long distance, my aunt was grieving and dealing with her personal problems between her and my step mom (they were arguing over the grave and who would pay what, etc.) on and on and on…
So, I ran to the bathroom while hearing my step mom then proceed to explain to the waiter that my dad had just died and she went into full detail of how, etc.
While in the bathroom, all I could do was pray. I prayed that God would be with me through this very difficult time and that He would give me the comfort and strength to get through all of this. I was not aware at the time, just how He would do this… but He did.
The next day was the viewing and this brought a whole new stress to the situation. My step mom had a death grip on me until others showed up. Once other family and friends showed up, she left me to gain support from them… the ones who would still talk to her by that point. She had nearly attacked almost everyone in my family by that point.
During this time, I stayed by my dad’s casket and stared at him. I knew it wasn’t him but his body… I wondered what he might have thought when he was dieing. Did he think about me? I placed my hand upon his and said my good-byes. I didn’t want to leave his side, but others came to me to say that I should allow others to give their respects, so I sat down in a pew about three from the front.
I looked around to see everyone giving comfort to my step mom and talking amongst themselves, but no one came to me… they didn’t know me or were preoccupied by the somewhat family reunion.
I placed my head in my arms, which rested on the back of the pew in front of me and prayed again for comfort and strength.
Well, the next thing I knew, I felt a hand on my shoulder, then another one on my back. I heard the voice of a child saying to me as she caressed my hair, “Its alright, don’t be sad, he is in heaven. It’s going to be ok.”
I looked up and I was surrounded by about 8 children from 3 years to around 8 years old… all trying to comfort me. This moved me so deeply that I almost couldn’t speak. All I could say is, “I know” and “Thank you”… They stayed with me.
No adult ever came to me, no adult ever said a word to me that night… just the children. I knew that was God. He used the little children to comfort me. Through the mouths of babes, I tell ya.
The next day was the funeral.
Early, we awoke and got ready. Everything seemed fine, as fine could be. Then came the limousines. As soon as we stepped out of the doorway to the house, my step mom began screaming and saying “No, no, no” while she planted her feet in the ground, forcing others to practically drag her to the car.
My aunt was there by this time (at the house). Once we were in the car, my step mom, my stepsisters, their kids and me… when my aunt was going to get into the car, my step mom said to her that there was no room for her. This really upset my aunt because she was more family to my dad then my step sisters and kids, plus, I think I heard later that my aunt was the one paying for it.
I had to hear my step mom complain about it all the way to the funeral. I just wanted to jump out of the car and run as far away from everything as I could.
Once we got to where the funeral service was held… we had some time, so I didn’t think I could handle being around everyone then… I went to the restroom which had a sitting room attached to it. I sat there and prayed. I didn’t know how I was going to get through this.
The next thing I knew was that someone came in and said that they were about to start the services. So, I gathered my composure and went to the sanctuary. On my way down the isle a man who said that he was very pleased to finally meet me stopped me. He told me that my dad spoke of me often. This made me feel a bit better. I also found out that he didn’t know that I had another sister, which I thought was interesting (for more history about that please click here).
I do not remember the funeral, as far as what was said but I have a video of it, though, it not very good quality. When we were at the gravesite, I sat in the front with the other immediate family members, excluding my aunt again and her family, thanks to my step mom. The things I remember about this, was that the sun broke through the clouds… a plane flew over head and the priest kept looking at me oddly as he spoke and prayed. It was almost like he could see something… but what, I thought. My dad had to have a priest preside over the burial because the gravesite was at a Catholic cemetery. It was a family plot that my grandparents paid for long before I was even a thought.
The only other part that I remember now, is my flight home. It was the first time that I was leaving L.A. without spending time with my grandmother and/or my dad. I thought how my experiences with California died with them… and I began to cry. I remember listening to a tape I had brought with me: “I’ll Be There” by the Escape Club below is the actual video for the song…
Tear just flowed down my face. A flight attendant asked me if I was ok, so I told him that my dad had died. He was very attentive after that and I greatly appreciated it. Over the next years, it would hit me here and there. I just learned to let myself feel the pain so that I wouldn’t explode in the future.
There are times that I wish that I could share with him. We began speaking again when I was in high school, over the phone. I had told him that I would be visiting him that summer, but I wasn’t able to. It brings back memories of almost seeing my grandmother but she died right before I was able.
If you get nothing else out of this post, please don’t hesitate to spend the time that you have with your loved ones. Tell them how you feel… and trust in God to carry you through those times that you don’t think you can make it through – He won’t let you down. Thank you for reading this. I look forward to your comments.