I told him I loved him, told him it was ok to go....to let go and be free from the pain. And then he left.
I never knew what it was like to be with someone you love when their soul leaves the body. I had never known the pain I felt in that moment. The desperation, the emptiness, the anger, the fear....wishing I could take back telling him to go, wishing I could beg him to stay. But knowing that that would be selfish, and the pain was so tremendous that his release was a blessing. My head knew that but my heart was shattering into a million pieces and the little girl in me was screaming for her Dad not to go, bewildered by the loss and overwhelmed by the grief.
The grown up me had to handle arrangements, utterly clueless as to how to go about such a thing in such shock (thank you, Mom, for the strength you gave me during that time...I know you loved him too, despite how things ended up between you). And the grown up me has had to work through a lot of the grown up stuff that goes with the loss of a parent. Probably a blessing in and of itself for the distraction it provides.
But the little girl me watched the sun set tonight and remembers. Remembers everything, brutal and cruel and terrifying, everything about what cancer did to her Dad....how cancer stole her Dad long before he should have left this earth. Watching the sun set. Crying. Remembering. Alone.
And then as dusk swelled above the sliver of light left from the sun of today, one single bright star appeared.
Thanks, Dad. I love you too.