Monday, 21 December 2009

Read at your own risk - no kink involved.

It's funny what you remember and what you don't. Some things from those days, seven years ago, still play in my head like they were yesterday. The actual moment, when it came, will never leave me, nor the pain and the guilty relief that came with it. I remember some of the time leading up to it. The Christmas celebration on the 18th, a day or so before he started slipping away. Sitting in the room next door, trying to get on with some work, knowing he was there, slowly being lost in a haze of morphine. I don't remember where I slept though. A couple of nights my bed was the floor downstairs. Was it all the time? I must have been there for at least a week - where was I sleeping that whole time? Did I come home at all, or was I there the whole time? Was I really working?
The strangest little details remain - excitement that "The Kids From Fame" was showing on a TV channel at 6 in the morning. The fact that we gave him dried fruits as a Christmas present. The duvet cover that was on the duvet I used. The darkness that seemed all pervading.

That darkness can still bringing it all flooding back now. Waking at 7:00am and it still not being light. That half light on these few days will still send me back there instantly. To nights of restless sleep, and the feeling that we would be caught in a twilight world on the brink of death, forever. And it will always, always bring back the guilt. The willing him to let go, to stop suffering, to die.
I wished my own father would die. And then I felt relieved when he did. That will always live with me. In some ways, seven years ago can seem like a lifetime. But in the depths of winter, on the longest day of the year, it seems like yesterday, and my sorrow is as fresh as it ever was.


EmmaJane said...

Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your soul and so beautifully written.

Love and hugs,


Haron said...

Hugs, and hugs, and hugs.

Sound Punishment said...


My heart goes out to you for I know exactly how you feel. It is now nearly 15 years since my father died in my arms, shortly after Christmas, of lung cancer.

The memories of him that are engraved in my mind are of him fighting to stay alive so he didn't spoil Christmas, of reading to him as first his sight went and then sitting with him, of touching him and holding his hand as his hearing failed so that he knew someone was with him.

Of wishing he would die because of the pain he was in, of telling him to go when we were alone, and yet feeling so guilty and grief-stricken when he did.

The memories like that don't fade with time as we hope they should, but you hopefully get to bear them better as time goes by.

But even now, after 15 years, it still only takes an unguarded thought, a whisp of a memory of those times, to bring back the pain and the tears that are the price of the grief at his loss, and the expression of the undying love I will always have for my father.

In the pain there is also the joy of having known and loved someone.

Try and make the latter predominant in your thoughts, it is hard but it helps.

Master Retep said...

My own father also died in December, but we were a lot luckier than you. He was well into his 80s and so it was more natural. But it grows you up with a shock whenever it happens. I don't think we are ever ready to be the "grown-up" generation in the family, we want to be safe and cosy in the middle, not the outer protective layer.

Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and stirring my own. May Christmas and the New Year bring you peace and joy, comfort, fulfillment and maybe just little surprises to keep you sharp.

Casey Morgan said...

Indeed the depths of winter, and the longest night... wish we were sitting in the same room tonight, even with the dodgy electricity...


ronnie said...

Brought memories flooding back to me.

Big hugs for you Elaine.


catherine said...

Sweetheart, there's no guilt in wishing someone you love out of their suffering, even if it means they have to die. I had a very similar experience with my mum, though it was July not December.

Like most of us I suspect, I'm very good at carrying guilt, and I'll always feel sad that mum had to die, and I'll always miss her (in fact I'm crying now, remembering her death). But I'll never feel guilty about wishing she could slip away, knowing there was nothing I could do to bring her back to a life she enjoyed living. I know that if she'd been able to see what was going on, to see herself in such a situation, she'd have felt that it was better to go than to be in such pain. I know that in the end she went with her family around her, and we were telling her we loved her and that it was ok, she could go, and that that was what she wanted.

Big hugs to you, lovely girl, and I hope you can get over the guilty feelings.


Eliane said...

Thank you so much for your support and your comments, and for sharing your own stories. It helps to know you're not alone feeling this way.

Paul said...

Eliane, my father died in 1973 in December, at around Midnight on the 23rd.
After a long and protracted illness he finally died.
I loved him deeply, yet for several months I prayed for him to die, he was so deeply drugged for so long, when I looked into his eyes there was no one there.
What you feel is normal, after 36 years, a glimpse, a memory, something that strikes a chord, still brings back that pain.
Now I realise that loving him as I did and still do, what I prayed for was perfectly natural.
The pain never goes away, but now it is a part of my love for him.
Warm hugs,

Rebecca said...

Big hugs sweetie xox

Scarlett De Winter said...

Hugs and hugs and hugs and hugs. I don't think there's ever anything genuinlely helpful anyone can say about berevement: It's the most personal tragedy and despite the fact that it will affect us all one day it's very, very hard to share. It's a beautiful tribute. Lots and lots of love.

Alyx said...

Grieving is very natural (which doesn't make it easier, of course). Sending warm and comforting thoughts your way. Hopefully it helps to know our loved ones are not suffering anymore.