Monday, September 21, 2009

Country Road.. Take Me Home...

I guess it is finally time to write about it. After all, it has been a month since it happened.

My Dad, Jack J Magestro, Born 9-24-53, passed away on 8-21-09 at 10:45pm after a long long battle with liver disease. I was there for the very end. It was the oddest experience I have ever had. One would think I'd say the saddest, but it was just too surreal to be sad.

The nurses tried for days and days to stop the bleeding in his body, but with out being able to pinpoint its location and all the procedures too risky, they said there was nothing more we can do but make him comfortable. A month earlier from then I thought he was on the up and that a liver transplant might just be possible. He fought to the very end just like he promised he would. We moved him down to palliative care and were told it could be hours it could be days. I prayed for hours. I didn't want him to suffer anymore.

My Dad really like 70s music and in his car was a tape (yes a tape) of John Denver. So my Brother ran out to get a CD player and some John Denver to pass the time. Dad wasn't conscious (hadnt been for several days) but somewhere deep down I knew he could hear it. Just like I knew that we were all there. As we sat there laughing, crying and reminiscing I noticed his breathing change. It began to slow and become shallow. This, we were told, was part of the "process." The process of dying of course. So I scooted myself to sit next to him on the bed, held his hand and stroked his lustrous dark chestnut hair (55 not a bit of gray). Everyone around me was crying, but I just whispered in his ear that it was ok to go. He promised me he would fight and he did, as long as he could, but now it was time to let go. To be at peace. Finally. Then, his breathing stopped, his heart beat followed and I just sorta sat there, not really able to comprehend the weight of what had just happened. Even as the Dr came in, declared him and eventually he turned cold, it felt so strange. My Dad was gone. He died right before my eyes.

The weirdest thing of all was the slight feeling of envy I had for him. As he was dying I found myself feeling slightly jealous because he was about to find out what happens next. He would know now and none of us do. As far as my 'faith' goes, I don't really know what I believe. But if he went somewhere or nowhere the mystery has ended for him. With this, I also have found myself no longer afraid of death (I used to be TERRIFIED!!!) because I figure if my Dad can do it, so can I. I know that sounds so weird but its true. Not that I want to die, I certainly have no plans to, but I feel a new freedom. I will live until I die and there's no sense in dwelling on it.

Then we went to the bar and had some Scotch.

The next day was filled with Funeral arrangements, TONS of phone calls and the week that followed was not much different. Wednesday was the service. Over 100 people came (my Dad not one of them as he was off to be cremated and didnt want a service) and it warmed my heart to see a line outside. He was such a private man,but yet he touched the lives of many. Thursday, I did not get out of bed until 6pm, and I ignored all my calls. Me and the kitty just hid under the covers.

Now, a month has passed and things still feel weird. I still don't feel that he is gone and I still haven't really cried. His 56th birthday is this Thursday, perhaps it will hit me then. Or maybe the last year was such a struggle and the fear of him dying was worse than the real thing, that I've already done my grieving. Time will tell.

I love you Dad. I'll always be your little girl.