Limbo, a terrible place to be

Yesterday was probably one of the worst in my life.  My father was taken off life support yesterday, and he is breathing on his own. So you ask me how could that be the worst day in your life??  He is still in a coma though and his brain activity is still erratic.  The imagination is a wonderful, but sometimes frightening thing.  Yesterday I could not stop myself from thinking about my father confined to a bed in a coma for years on end.  The agony of perpetual un-life was so horrific that I broke down and cried. I just couldn’t get that image out of my mind. The other possibility, not giving his body what it needs to survive (food) is just as horrific and scary. Of course there is the third possibility that he will open his eyes tomorrow and wonder why all the fuss was made about him… demanding to be released so that he can go home.  Of all the outcomes I fervently pray for the third one.  The worst part of it all is that I really can’t grieve yet.  He is still “technically” alive.  He could open his eyes at any moment and be back with us.  So here I am in LIMBO, not knowing whether to be happy that he is still breathing, or scared that he will continue without change. 

This last week has been a unique learning experience for me.  I thought that I was enlightened about death, I found out that is true as long as it is someone else that death is visiting.  I am really compassionate to other people going through this, I know just what to say to ease their pain. At least that is what I told myself.  I find out that easing of pain is not as easy as just saying the right words, it is not as easy as getting or giving a hug, there is something deeply personal about the pain of losing a loved one.  It is almost as if you want to keep that pain to prove to the world that you loved that person.  In my rational brain I know that is silly, I say to myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, but then the emotional side says “yes, BUT, how soon is too soon to stop grieving”.  A good example is this morning, my coworkers ask how my weekend was, normally I would answer with something like “Awesome” or “Fantastic”.  Today I had to pause and think about what to say.  I ended up with “it was OK”, they shook their heads and gave me the pat answer of “it will get better”.   The worst part about that is that I know I will… I will get better, I will come to grips with this.  One day soon my brother will call me and say one of two things.  He will start with either “Lee, I’m sorry” or “OMG, he’s awake”.  

I hope that day comes soon…


About Lee Devine

I love life. I am a program facilitator at the Dixie Applied Technology College in St. George Utah. I can't think of anything I want to do more than help people succeed at education.
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