*blows dust off of keyboard…pushes tumbleweeds out of the way…peeks out…*
Are ya’ll still here?
It’s been a long time, huh?
If you have been here for a while you know writing is where I go when the hurt is too much to bear.
My Daddy died from Covid19 on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
This hurt? It’s unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. It is a physical, emotional and spiritual hurt. It is deep and unyielding and it takes my breath away. And in the midst of this hurt I am still nursing my mother, raising my daughter, and managing my terror and devastation all while in quarantine. Reality feels like fiction. If you pitched this reality as a show or movie idea no one would bite. NYC quiet and empty? The economy suspended? Broadway closed? Times square empty? Too much even for fiction. You would strike out.
Yet here we sit. In a reality stranger than fiction where my Daddy, my superman, is gone. It is too much to bear. Too much.
Awful isn’t a strong enough word when things keep getting awfuler.
Two parents sick with a highly contagious, potentially life threatening virus? Awful.
A virus that you may, or may not, be responsible for having brought in to the home you share with them? Awful
A home that your 8 year old daughter also lives in? Awful.
Weeks of managing their symptoms with no medical training all while persistently being advised NOT to take them to the hospital? Images and stories of overburdened hospitals being shared with you daily. Fears of lack of life saving machinery. You play double dutch with their lives trying to time when it would be safe to jump in to a hospital. Awful.
Having your father go from coughing to silent to unresponsive in a matter of hours? Awful
Doing CPR which you haven’t done in well over a decade while you beg him not to leave you and your Mother and daughter watch and sob? Awful
Having paramedics come in to your home in protective gear and take over only to hear him pronounced as gone? Awful
Making call after call only to hear that every funeral home in the Bronx is full and can not offer embalming and refrigeration, only cremation? Awful.
Your Mom hitting the height of her illness just as all of this is all happening? Awful
Spending nights watching her sleep. Praying that you will know this time when it is time to jump in. Praying for the discernment to make the right choices for her when the outcome with Daddy was loss? Awful.
Folks I haven’t even gotten past April 2nd.
There is so much more awful I could build a mountain out of it. I need to wade through it. I need to process it in small chunks. I need to let it out enough so I can continue to be Mommy, Daughter, Aunt and all of the things I am.
People keep telling me how strong I am. Please don’t be people. This is not strength. This is necessity. This is no other option. This is God holding me as I scream internally. Strong is not something I want to hear. It rankles. I should probably explore why. In the meantime please don’t use it as a compliment. If I had ANY other option I would take it.
This is my space to be naked. I am vulnerable. Processing in this way has helped me so much in the past. I pray that it can again.
Tomorrow we get to see and say our final goodbyes to my Daddy. Only 10 of us are allowed. It is not safe for out of town family to come. We will all wear masks. We can not hold each other. We can not go to the cemetery. We can not have flowers. Our priest is not allowed to come in person. This is not the honor my Daddy deserves. He deserves so much more.
He will have it. We will honor his life when this is over. I promise Daddy. We just have to get through awfuler and awfuler and awfuler.
P.S. -I’m not going to proofread these blogs. If I go back and reread I will self edit and that is not part of the process. Don’t judge my spelling or grammar. Judge yo Mama. LOL