Lost Expectations

I expected 2022 to be better. I had great expectations for this year. I planned to write every single day. I wanted to use less plastic and commit myself to being fully minimalist, eating healthier, exercising and doing all that is good for the environment. Instead, my father passed away unexpectedly on January 31, 2022. My life was turned upside down.

I received a call on January 11 from my father. He sounded sick. This time in January was when The Omnicron Variant wave was hitting hard in the U.S. He asked me where he could get a Covid test. I scheduled him for a rapid test. He called me after 2 hours and said his test came back positive for Covid. I told him he would be okay since he was fully vaccinated and boosted. I suggested he rest and quarantine himself from my mother and I would try to send him whatever he needed. We lived 75 miles apart so I couldn’t do too much but hope for the best. My mom caught Covid a few days later. I am their only child and felt horrible and had so much guilt I couldn’t do much to help them.

My dad seemed to stabilize over the next few days but he decided to get Monoclonal therapy. After he received that therapy, he told me he felt worse and he didn’t feel like he was breathing well. My mom would send pictures of him to me and ask if she should take him to the hospital. She was recovering well from Covid herself and she wasn’t feeling 100% either. He ended up having an oxygen machine hooked up at home after hours of being on the phone with doctors’ offices and insurance.

I received a call from my mom crying that she can’t help him anymore. He wasn’t making it to the bathroom in time. He was refusing to eat. I told her to call an ambulance on the house phone. I stayed on the line with her and told the paramedic what was going on. My dad was taken to the E.R., spent the whole day there and was admitted into the ICU that night. I drove out to them and stayed with my mother. I spoke with countless doctors and nurses to find out his status. There was more bad news each time I spoke to someone.

The next day, I asked the hospital staff, if we could see him. They said since he was still testing positive for Covid, we could only view him from an outside window. This hospital was one level. We drove to the hospital and we had to wait for someone to tell us where to go. When we got to the window, I could see 5 staff members standing around him. I could hear them say, your daughter and wife are outside. He perked up and waved at me. The nurse knocked on the window to get my attention. She pointed at her mouth and then at my dad. That was her signal to say, we are starting intubation to put him on a ventilator. Then she closed the curtain. That was the last time I saw my father alive. He spent the next 7 days in the ICU on life support. Slowly his body went into sepsis, renal (kidney) failure and the Covid pneumonia attacked his lungs. He died 20 days after he tested positive for Covid.

My mom fully relied on my father for everything. My dad took care of all of their finances, everything was in his name. While many things were in place for just this moment, a will and living trust, many things were not. They did not have a plan for a mortuary, burial, etc. Now we had to think about all of these things while we were grieving. My mother went into shock and she shut down. She couldn’t think or do anything. I sprang into action. I felt like I was in the washer on the spin cycle while trying to hold a cup of water.

I’m angry because I lost my father to a virus that people claimed was nothing but the flu. I get justification for his death, “oh he was elderly, he was immunocompromised…” I say, “fuck that!” Immunocompromised and disabled people should not have to die sooner than they should because people want the freedom to be selfish, reckless a-holes. My mom most days wishes she was dead because she is in so much pain from grief. I’m mad at the church because my father caught Covid at a church healing service. My mom desperately believed that my dad would be healed from Leukemia if he went to this church service. He told me, no one wore masks. He tried his best to stay away from people but they acted like nothing was going on in the world. He and my mom had no chance. She believes the lies that Jesus was their vaccine. I will never set foot in a church again. I cannot stomach their pro-life rhetoric, when they don’t really care about pro-life at all. Not to mention, the church seems to be loud when they should be quiet and quiet when they should be loud when it comes to certain social issues and denouncing white nationalism and supremacy. I cringe when I hear someone say they are praying for me or that God is with me. Yet, I know, I will never change a brainwashed mind. I will waste my energy and my health in doing so. Getting angry will not help me heal from this intense grief. I know my father would not want me to stay sad. He would want me to help my mom and keep myself from falling into a deep state of depression. He would want me to enjoy life because it is so precious and unpredictable.

In this time of grief some healing has taken place. Sometimes when loved ones pass, their loved ones do some introspection. I got an apology from my mom that I never expected. I feel pent up anger leaving me. There are good days and bad days. When I talk about my dad and I don’t cry, that’s a good days. The bad days are when I think of something my dad would’ve liked, I grab my phone but realize, I can never have a conversation like we did again. The moments are difficult. As I learn about grief, it is not orderly. It’s sloppy and messy, but necessary.

So to those intentions I had at the beginning of 2022, they can still happen just not now.

Roses from My Dad’s Funeral

One thought on “Lost Expectations

  1. Love you my friend. I think about that curtain closing often. What a terrible moment. Always here for you 😊

    Like

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