On Processing Loss
A few days ago, I found out that my father had passed away. And I was not prepared on how to deal with it. He had been battling cancer for five years and, on top of that, he caught COVID-19, which severely affected him. Since he and I had a complicated relationship, I was not aware of how he was doing.
For those who don't know, I was born into an affair. He was here and there throughout my life. Since he hid my existence from his 'real' family, I was never able to contact him throughout his illness. His phone was unreachable, my only contact was his niece, who knew about me, and he never updated me on his situation. I did not know where he was, how he was, and most importantly, if he was alive or not.
Eventually, through my curiosity, I located where he was by calling hospitals that I could think of and trying to find information on him. Finally, I found out the hospital he was in and went there without thinking anything.
I went to the hospital and walked through every department until I found his room. I knocked on the door and a woman welcomed me, later I found out she was my father's wife, who had no idea who I was. I asked if my father was resting there, and with a shock on her face, I explained who I was and told her I wanted to see my father. This was the first time I saw my father since 2019. He had lost a lot of weight, and was almost unrecognizable. When he saw me, he had the same shock on his face as his wife. He was most certainly not expecting to see me there. Then his wife got really confused and asked me to leave, saying there must be some misunderstanding because my father had only two children and I was not one of them.
It is really hard for me to explain the emotions I was experiencing at that moment. I was relieved, knowing that he was still alive; out of place, knowing that I was not welcomed here; angry, because It wasn't supposed to be like that. I was overwhelmed and suddenly broke out in tears. I did not know what to do, what to say to his family. Moments later, his wife came out of the room and started questioning me. I told her every detail I could remember about him to prove that I was his child. To that date, I knew about his 'real' family, who they were and their names, because my father kind of liked talking about them with me. Thinking back, I was in agony when he was telling those stories, the ordinary things, the things I had never experienced.
She refused everything until I told her to call my father's niece, because I was sure he would clear things up. When she was on the phone with him, I could hear his voice. He told her that I must be lying, that none of that was real, that I was not his son. I was fucking angry. Angry at how he could deny me at a moment like that. Then I remembered that he was the one sending me money each month, something that my father did to support me. Since my father was quite ill, he took on that task to support me. I showed her the transactions on my account, which proved that he knew about me. Then she questioned him, which resulted in him yelling and hanging up the phone when he realized he could not continue lying.
Realizing everything, she broke out in tears the same way I was and told me that I could go inside and do whatever I wanted to do while she was having some fresh air. I went in there and sat beside my father. We had a short conversation like we were not really there in that cold hospital room. Then he realized what was going on and told me that I should not have done this, that It shouldn't have happened this way. He told me that he had planned to introduce me to his real family, but I guess he never had the time to do it.
I am going to cut this part here because I don't want to explain it any further.
Then weeks passed and I still had no update on him. I tried calling his phone yet couldn't reach him. Tried calling his niece and got the same response. I was in limbo. Then through my old tactics, I looked into his situation. Then I learned that he had passed away.
No one told me. I was not there at his funeral. I was not there to be with him on his final days. I was never part of it. I was simply pushed off. Now, on top of trying to make a sense of his departure, I also have this intense anger towards people who let it happen this way.
I don't know how to process his loss. I tried to keep my mind off of it, trying to not think of him at all. But it does work only so far. So here I am, writing on this obscure blog that I know virtually no one will read.
It is simply mindboggling to think that he was here and in a second he was not. I still don't know where he is buried. I still don't know what his final days were like. I still don't know if he wanted me there beside him. And the worst part is, I think I will never know.
I know that you made some mistakes in this life, mistakes that led everything to happen this way. However, I forgive you for everything. I will hope and believe that you never wanted things to happen the way they did. You were a good man, but not a great father, but I love you no matter what. I will miss you.