My dad passed away February 7th, 2010 at 8:50 am. It was SuperBowl Sunday, there was snow on the ground, and the nurse came in to check on me and him when he took his last breath. When I flew in to NC to visit him, I did not expect that a few days later he would be gone. I came home tomake sure hewas discharged, and then to live with him and keep him company for what I thought would be significantly longer.
It's been five years, and most days have been easier. There are still a noticeable amount of bad days. I know it is not normal to still grieve for someone, especially a parent, after so much time has elapsed, but I blame myself for him dying. I feel guilty. My sister does too, as I recently found out.
Dad was an alcoholic. He went to several rehabs when I was really young until the woman who gave birth to me divorced him because of his addiction. He moved to Massachusetts, got sober, and my parents remarried when I was in middle school. He was sober from the time I was in kindergarten until I had moved to college. The woman who gave birth to me divorced him a second time, that time because she was having an affair. Dad started drinking again and never stopped.
I moved to Texas in 2006. I flew home for Christmas to see dad and my sister. Christmas 2007 would end up being the last time I saw him healthy and alive. He was supposed to fly to Texas Father's Day 2008 to see me and meet the guy I was in love with. The first week of June, I was arrested for driving while extremely intoxicated, though since the car had broken down when I had drunkenly called a tow truck, they could only charge me with public intoxication. I got really lucky that night. When I called my dad two days before he was supposed to fly in, he told me he had canceled his flight because he was disappointed in me. I understand why I did it, but I blew a chance to see him, and for him to meet the people I had come to cherish here. Guilt #1.
My dad and I were extremely close. I loved him so much because he was such a kind human being. There wasn't a mean bone in his body. He never got angry, he was always giving, and man could he cook. He was my heart. Throughout my time in Texas, he occassionally ask me to move back to NC. He once even offered to give me a house. I kept turning him down because in the past he had bailed me out, he paid for my college education, and I wanted for once to do it on my own and make him proud of me.
One month before he died, I called him one night upset. The man I was in love with had been dating another woman behind my back. He proposed to her, and he hid the engagement from me.Shewas also pregnant.I was devastated. I had pictured my wedding with him. I thought he was the one that I would have children with and grow old with. Dad asked me to move in with him, he offered to clear out a room for me, and to start my life over in NC. I told him that if I did that, I would be a coward and running from my problems though I appreciated him offering that to me. Guilt #2.
During college, dad's drinking was starting to worry my sister. So, I transferred to a college close to my dad, and moved in with him for awhile while I took classes and was able to monitor him. Throughout the time he began drinking again, my sister and I both tried to get him sober. I feel like when we went out partying we did him a huge disservice. I feel like we didn't intervene enough. My efforts weren't good enough. Guilt #3.
I didn't get to fly home for Christmas 2008 or 2009 because I couldn't afford it. I was too poor to see him. Guilt #4.
If I could, I would exchange my life to bring him back. After 5 years, and witnessing dad's death with my own two eyes, I still bargain for his life every once in awhile. He was much gentler and kinder than I could ever be, and he was a beautiful soul despite his pain. He never ever tookhis painout on anyone.