So, needless to say, Halloween is a bittersweet holiday for me. Quite honestly, the night my dad died, I have no idea where Young One was or who was with him. I'm pretty sure he was with D and some friends trick or treating, but I can't quite be sure. You see, that morning is still clear as crystal to me, but the rest of the day, well, it's a much needed blur. I had been up all night with Dad, helping him die. I guess that's the only way it can be put. My brothers couldn't handle it and my mom was dizzy with grief and emotion. I had to take charge. So, I held him and helped him clear his lungs. I kept him warm and comfortable and increased his oxygen when he needed it. I did loads and loads of laundry, running from his recliner to the washer and dryer.
Hospice was so wonderful, teaching us how to medicate dad to help him peacefully pass. This has always been something that's sort of bothered me. As a nurse, I know what those doses of medications would have done to a healthy person. I know for sure, though, that cancer killed my dad.
I face each Halloween with a brave face. We don't talk too much about what this anniversary means. I don't think it's necessary or healthy for Young One to associate this traditionally fun, kid day with Grandpa's death. I throw myself into the festivities. Dad wouldn't want it any other way.
I'm still struck at how grief will hit me from time to time. It's surprising in its intensity. It might be triggered by the way Young One holds his mouth when he's thinking hard (just like dad did). It might be realizing that I can't remember what his voice sounds like anymore. It may be in the passing of a memory, like how he called everything a finort and told me that I needed to eat something because it would put hair on my chest (this horrified me as a child!). I may think about the mysterious Gazeekerpiper, a bodily organ that dad often referred to. I still don't know what he was talking about!
My dad will always be with me. I know that for sure. I hope I get to be with him again someday. I miss being his little girl. For now, though, it's celebration time.
Happy Halloween, I sure hope I didn't bring you down. Eat lots of candy, enjoy the giggling gaggles of kids, and most importantly, make some memories.