My dad died 15 years ago today. 5 days prior was when I got the call from my mom that he was taken to the Neuro-ICU and the following day, instead of taking my bio midterm I was in the hospital with family discussing how my father had suddenly lost consciousness and incurred a brain trauma related to being on a blood thinner.
The real day of pivot in my life was that first conversation with my mom on October 15th telling me the doctors said I should come down ASAP.
By that time, my dad was already gone. I saw it the next morning and the first thing I said when I approached him in his hospital bed, basically lifeless, was, “It’s ok. I forgive you. You can go. It’s not your fault. I’ll be okay.”
I knew my brilliant doctor dad, who was an avid jogger and lover of life and humanity was not about to spend the rest of his life as a vegetable.
I gave him permission to leave.
I didn’t want him to feel bad that he failed us. What could he do? It was out of his control.
I wanted him to know I forgave him.
15 years in. So many eye-opening experiences into the REAL meaning of life. So much pain. So much growth. So much sadness. So much grief. So much gratitude for the idyllic 21 years we did have together.