This post though is very special, as she describes a major loss in her life, through her eyes as seen by a child, and later with the full realization of an adult.
A little bit more about her
The Day He Cried by Meredith Loughran
He was always there and he was the foundation of our family.
He began to deteriorate in health in 2004 with complications of cellulitis. Additionally, he never took care of his teeth, which does adversely affect one’s body.
That was my father’s first near death experience as his body went into septic shock. He was in critical care for three weeks and in rehabilitation for a month after that experience.
From this he found a new appreciation for life.
His children were grown but he wanted to live to see his grandchildren grow. He quit drinking and smoking. He immediately took care of his teeth, and began to exercise.
He was a new man and, for the first time in a long time, it appeared that he had overcome the cloud of depression that always seemed to be just under his jolly exterior.
From his wake-up call in 2004 until 2009, dad made improvements to himself and his life. He was reissued his driver’s license (after losing it some ten year prior for DWI), bought a new car, had a hip replacement, and new teeth. He was walking or going to the gym every day, and his joy of driving was only surpassed by surreptitiously washing and waxing his car! But his health took a turn for the worse.
After five years of clean living, he went from vibrant to sickly way too fast. Strangely, he'd never had cirrhosis from his years of drinking but cancer decided to rear its ugly head--his body began to fail him.
Even when he was healthy, I would visit him every day at his home-office prior to going to my own job. We would have coffee or lunch; listen to music or swap CDs…Talk. We could talk for hours or sit in silence with each other’s company.
My mother often shook her head in wonder, “What do you talk about every day?”
She would never understand that sometimes we didn’t talk at all.
End of April, Dad was getting jaundiced (the orange hue to his skin) from liver failure. His cheeks were losing their plumpness. It seemed that overnight he had aged 20 years.
We sat and talked about healthy liver diet options. I had brought information about cancer treatments when suddenly his stomach began to quake. To my utter surprise, dismay, and relief, my father began to cry--silently, at first until he could no longer contain his frustration, anger and grief.
“This,” he cried, pointing to his stomach, “this cancer is killing me and there isn’t anything I can do about it!”
I believe his doctors did a grave injustice to him. A previous surgery during his near-death experience precluded him from a liver transplant, which meant there was no point in radiation or chemo therapy, according to the doctors.
They told him to go home and get his estate in order.
His silent shaking turned to all-encompassing grief. Tears streamed from his eyes--his mouth wide open in silent wailing, body shaking. No air breathed in or out.
It was the depth of grief that I had only experienced once upon the death of my marriage, leaving me all alone in the world with three small children.
I recognized the crying of his soul's essence. I climbed in his chair with him and held his quaking body. With a huge intake of breath, his grief finally reached his vocal chords and he wailed aloud. I felt him trying to control himself and I hugged him tighter.
“I got you, Dad.
"Cry. Just get it out.
"I got you.”
I don’t know how long we cried together but when he was finally purged he said, “Please don’t tell your mother. I don’t want her to worry.”
I felt a deep sense of honor and was humbled that he'd entrusted me with his grief. I also felt the burden of knowing this was the moment he switched from actively living to actively dying.
I wanted to cry some more, but it wasn’t my place to. This wasn’t about my impending grief, it was about a man who had finally accepted the inevitable, grieving for a life that was not going to be.
There were so many things he still wanted to do and he put them behind him. He would not delay getting his estate in order any more.
"Please Lord, heal him completely or take him quickly. Please don’t make him suffer any more.”
My prayer was answered.
From diagnosis to death took only six months, and I was free to grieve his beautiful soul.
October 24, 1950 - June 22, 2010