A JOURNEY OF SELF HEALING – SESSION ONE
It’s taken me a long time to start to even touch on the subject of death again.
I say “again” as I actually wrote many journal entries from the day my dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in 2012. I wrote them and they have stayed in that laptop file and never been looked at since.
I can remember the feeling deep in my soul that day as I stood behind mum and dad as they sat in the doctors office, me standing solid with my hands clammy on the backs of the chairs.
We all knew exactly what was going to be said. We are a close family but we didn’t normally all rock up to the doctors appointments together as a unit. But that day we did. We knew we would all need the support.
Its strange because its partially a blurry memory, and yet its also like it happened yesterday. I can remember it like it happened this afternoon.
The doctor actually didn’t even say “you are dying”. Its amazing how they never say those words but you know its what they are telling you.
Terminal. Metastatic. What the fuck ever. It is all just a clinical way of saying… You aren’t going to recover from this but we’ll give you a glimmer of hope anyway.
It’s nice I guess. Good bed side manner and all that shit.
I will never forget the look on dads face. I will never forget that weird stare, that gaze of acceptance.
You see, he’d known for a long time that he was sick.
For years, even though previous tests had shown otherwise.
He had told me, on numerous occasions, and we had discussed this exact day. But that is between my daddy and me.
I have told mum some of the things that were said and I probably have told my husband in some drunken late night crying sessions where I couldn’t stop the snot and tears from flowing, those sobs where you can’t even catch your breath, you are almost choking on the emptiness. But what is between my daddy and I will remain between us. We had a bond that will never be broken. He confided in me with everything. We were, and still are… best friends.
So that fateful day in 2012, when I felt the hope get sucked right out of his being, I was changed forever. I not only watched my dad, but I also watched my mum. Her soul mate for the better part of her life. They had met when they were 14 years old in Surfers Paradise.
So here she was… in the blink of an eye, now faced with living a life without him.
Newly retired. To spend her years, alone. Fuck.
A diagnosis from your local doctor after they read out a generically written pathology or radiology report is just beginning though. So this was the first port of call in a big line of bullshit bad news reports that dad was going to be facing.
This doctors office visit was to be followed by a direct trip to the hospital, to get dad admitted and into immediate urgent treatment.
So we drive back to mum and dads place. Pack a bag for dad. I let mum go alone with him to the hospital. I could see that Dad was over the family togetherness by this stage and probably just wanting to go to sleep and hope this was a nightmare he could wake up from. I watched them pull out of the driveway and off to the first hospital visit of many.
I just sat there. I looked around the empty house that I grew up in, sitting with George, our dog, and I just cried.
I knew this was the beginning of the end. And it was going to be a painful end. So I was wishing it wouldn’t be long, but selfishly… I was also still wishing it would last forever.
So I would never have to be without him.
So mum would never have to live alone.
So my world as I knew it would not have to become such a sad place.