Year 3 – the beginning of Spring

6th March 2016

I am writing this as I sit at the end of a bed. Well actually it feels like more like, at end of my world. Again.

This year, at the beginning of March, I’m listening to my Dad struggle between gurgling deep breaths and soft imperceptibly light breathing. His hands are getting cold, he’s slipping away.

It’s Mother’s Day in the UK, and my Mum, my sister and I, are coming to terms with the fact that Dad will be gone in hopefully a little while. Hopefully, as it so painful to sit and watch him struggle. He suffered a stroke a week ago which left him immobile, unable to eat, and hardly understandable. After a short recovery for a few hours on Tuesday, he’s gradually slipped back into a coma like state. For the last 48 hours he hardly responded to anything. And we had to accept however painfully, that the status is now, end of life care. He has too much stacked against him and his body is failing. Brutal, honest, and against human nature, it’s time for us to let go on his behalf.

I miss I&T, but cherish the closeness and time I am spending with my first family, and am now torn between returning tomorrow to Brussels or staying by their side. I think I have to go with my mothering instincts, and return to my own nest, just for a little while. Late in the day, I change my mind. My sister reaches out and asks me to stay for my mum, and she’s right. The teenagers will be fine. My daughter, when we spoke, was even upset at the thought of me leaving my Dad. I guess the strong women gene has passed down through the generations, and she too can stand on her own two feet, and understand the complexity of family love and loyalty.

I let go, and prepare to sit here for a while, holding hands with my Dad and hugging my Mum. We have lots of roles to play in the world, and for now I have to focus on being the daughter.

My Dad died on March 9th. It was too raw for me to post this at the time, but 3 months later as I continue to adjust to life without him, its been calming to reflect on the roles we play in this life and how these are forever changing. It gives you the depth, soul and compassion, to be at ease with who you really are as you cope with change. Complex, complicated but caring. Love you and miss you Dad. Always. xx

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