Sunday, June 12, 2011

Upside Down

We're in the car, my little family and I, zooming down the highway.  Steve is driving, and I press my forehead to the passenger window glass, glad for the jarring cold of its smooth surface.  My heart is knocking in my chest, my hands are shaking, and Greta is quietly crying in the back seat.

My sister called just twenty minutes before, and said to come.  Now.  That Dad was in the hospital with some type of infection and it doesn't look good.

Doesn't look good?  Last night he was out with friends having dinner.   What do you mean, doesn't look good?

She could say no more through her tears.  In the background I hear chaos; people rushing about, shrill beeping from some type of hospital machinery.

"Just come,"  she sobs.  "I'll call you if anything happens, but you need to be here".

And so I find myself with my face against the glass, my phone perched on my lap and praying like mad that it won't ring, because I know what that would mean.

Is PopPop going to die? comes Finn's small, scared voice from the backseat.

I reach back and clutch his little hand.  I can't find any words.

We don't know, Buddy, Steve replies.

Please don't ring, please don't ring, I think. 

Outside the window the world rushes by; people drive in their cars from one place to another like it is any other day.  Rain pours from the heavens, streaking down my window like tears.  I watch the drops shimmy across the glass.  

Time slows to a crawl, and I feel each second tick by like an eternity.   I want to reach my arms out and clutch the air, grind time to a halt, bask in this small moment of not-knowing.  

My phone rings, and just like that the world turns upside down.

~~~~~~~

My Dad died yesterday from an infection that came on suddenly, and spread quickly due to complications from having his spleen removed years ago when he fought - and beat - lymphoma.  

I'm sitting here at 4:20am, unable to sleep and needing to write something, however small, in this space.  There aren't adequate words, not yet, to describe the gaping hole we're all feeling at his loss.  It was so sudden, so unexpected, that it is hard to wrap our minds around it all.

Yesterday I could have picked up the phone and called him, because he was in the world, and today I can't.  I feel him everywhere, though, and through all the pain there is an odd sense of peace, of knowing that the spirit of my Dad lives on in all of us.

But right now?  It hurts a lot.

Someday soon I may be able to talk about who he was and what he meant to all of us, but at the moment we're simply stepping gingerly from one moment to the next.  

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  We can feel them, and they matter.



I love you, Dad.

63 comments:

  1. Oh how truly awful for you and your family. My thoughts are with you

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'll be praying for you guys.

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  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. There are no words that will make this any better, so I'll send a hug.
    Hugs.
    LBC and family

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  4. I'm so sorry. Really, really, sorry. I hope that peace and comfort find you soon.

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  5. Oh, I'm so sorry. I was where you are almost exactly 12 years ago. I also received the call. He was there, and then he wasn't. And there was no warning at all. Hugs to you.

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  6. What a beautiful but heartbreaking post, Ellie.

    I am so very sorry for you and your family and I'm sending the very best thoughts and prayers to you all.

    Much Love,

    Anna

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  7. Oh, Ellie. I am so, so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  8. Praying peace finds you and your family swiftly.

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  9. So very sorry for your sudden loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  10. So much love to you. What a terrible loss.

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  11. I'm sorry for your loss. What a gift you received in those extra years since your father conquered lymphoma. Life is both hard and wonderful. Lighting a candle in his memory.

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  12. Im so sorry you are in so much pain, and I love that you wanted to write and speak about it in the middle of the night, just to have it out here. Im thinking of you and praying for comfort for your family.

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  13. Ellie, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. Friend, I am praying for you so much. I know this pain, unfortunately, the sudden and unexpectedness of it, the grief of the quick, almost-dreamlike loss. I hope you have moments of quiet today in the sweet presence of loved ones to breathe and feel and find tiny pockets of respite in your most wonderful memories.

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  14. So very sorry for the loss of your Dad....it's so unfair.

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  16. ((((HUGS)))) my condolences to you and your family... the pain won't go away, but it will get easier to deal with. i'm so sorry. :0(

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  17. I'm so sorry for your loss. So sorry.

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  18. I'm so sorry Ellie.

    ~ Hope

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  19. So sorry, Ellie. I will be thinking of you.

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  20. I am so sorry for your loss, Ellie. I lost my dad suddenly also. It hurts. A lot. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    hugs, Shanon

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  21. So, so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family were said all night and will continue for your your healing.

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  22. I'm so sorry for your loss. I pray that you have peace in the midst of grief.

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  23. I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. Just so very sorry. Sending gentle thoughts of comfort to you and your family.

    Kristin

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  24. I've been here. It will be okay. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  25. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you all.

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  26. Sorry to read this and thinking about you.

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  27. I'm so, so sorry that you lost your Dad. I lost my Dad so quickly, too. It's been two years. My hope for you and your family is much peace and healing and that through the pain, you always can grasp hope.
    ~Julie

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  28. I'm so sorry for your loss, Ellie. ((hugs))

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  29. Ellie,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you all love. xoxo

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  30. I am heart broken, I know your pain and I am so sorry you and your family are dealing with this,

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  31. Ellie, I have no words. Well, I guess I do. I am profoundly sorry for the loss of your amazing father. Tears are running down my face reading your post. My heart goes out to you and your sweet family. Prayers are already on their way. I know that God will give you strength, grace, peace, and comfort in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. Thank you for letting us walk beside you during this time. We love and care for you.

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  32. I'm so sorry. I too had my spleen removed (due to Hodgkin's Disease) and developed a life threatening infection years later. I (just barely) survived, and I'm so sorry your dad won't have the same story to tell.
    Sending up a prayer for you and your family.

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  33. I lost my dad in the same sudden way, Ellie, and I have no words to adequately express how much my heart is crying out for you right now. I am sending major prayers and love and sympathy to you all.

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  34. I am so sorry Ellie. It is so hard to lose someone you love, and no words are going to make the pain go away. Know that there are a lot of people thinking about you and your entire family right now.

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  35. Ellie, I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine the sudden loss of someone so close. Please know that my thoughts are with you and your family at this time, and will continue to be so.

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  36. Oh darling, I am so, so very sorry. Sending a big hug and much strength to you.

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  37. Prayers, light, love and strength to you and your family.

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  38. I am so so very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family.

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  39. Ellie, I wish with all my heart I could float through this screen to hug you. I'm crying here, thinking of you. I'll be praying for your family.

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  40. Oh, Ellie, I'm so sorry. That's so fucking awful.

    Grief can be rough in sobriety, honey. I'm here. If you need me. Been down this road with by boys and my dad, just a few months apart.

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  41. I am so sorry, Ellie. That's where we were a year ago, 5 months ago, and three weeks ago. My father-in-law (who was like a father to me) passed away a year ago. We still have lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes.

    I got a call to jump on a plane and rush to the hospital five months ago when my mom went into cardiac arrest and was in critical care for CHF. She pulled through after over a month and a few weeks in rehab and was doing well at home.

    I got another call three weeks ago that my mom, this time, had a major stroke. She's out of the hospital in rehab again but this time she's in the low functioning status. We are hoping for the best but trying to prepare for the worst.

    Needless to say, I can't say that I know how you feel because everyone feels differently. But I can certainly empathize with you and my heart goes out to you and your family.

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  42. Dear Sweet Ellie,
    I am so very sorry for the loss of your Dear Father. I lost my father, not that long ago to Lymphoma, so I understand just how difficult this is. Please take care of yourself during this time to grieve. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Judi
    (aka Pearly)

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  43. I am so sorry for your loss...I have only been reading yours posts for a short time, you may not remember my name, but please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and know that memories of happier days will bring you strength in the coming months and years. Thank you for the heartfelt sharing of your thoughts.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

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  44. I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father when I was eighteen. I know your pain. It's been 24 four years for me. I still miss my dad, but it will get better, I promise.

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  45. So very sorry for your loss. I live in fear of the day my father leaves this earth. Hang in there; you are strong.

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  46. Gillian in WalesJune 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    I am so, so sorry for your loss, and for the pain your whole family must be feeling right now.

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  47. Adding my prayers to the list of those keeping you in our hearts. Your words on this blog, and the link to Crying Out Now, have been a great support to me in the past few months as I struggle with codependency and an alcoholic spouse. Your words always give me hope. I hope our words help you now.

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  48. I am so very sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  49. I'm so sorry to hear the passing of your father. I know it hurts as I lost my father 8 years ago and it still hurts.

    Just remember the good times you had with your Dad and also remember to breathe.

    Prayers are being sent to you and your family.

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  50. Been there, Done that. So sorry that you have to go through this. For weeks after my Dad passed (15 years ago) I would call his # just to hear his voice on the answering machine.

    Praying for you.

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  51. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. Losing a parent is really, really hard. But you will get through it. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers your way.

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  52. Oh Ellie I am so, so sorry. Much love headed your way.

    -Georgia

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  53. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    -Cara

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  54. Ellie, so sorry for your loss. Sandi Ratch

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  55. Oh Ellie, I don't know what to say. Words don't seem enough in the face of such devastating news. I'm so very sorry for your loss and I hope that in time the good memories you have shine through the tears.

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  56. I am so, so sorry to hear this, Ellie. You and your remarkable family are in my heart and prayers. May you know peace and be comforted by wonderful memories.

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  57. Oh God Ellie! I'm so sorry I'm just reading about this now. Tears. I'm so so sorry for your loss.

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  58. Oh Ellie! I'm so sorry. I had no idea since I hadn't been online. Hope your heart heals.

    Joey

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