I know I haven’t posted anything here in a long while. I don’t even know where to begin.
Let me start by saying, everything that follows is not to garner any sympathy, but I need to vent on a forum where I know I won’t be judged (too much).
So, here goes… I think I had mentioned in one of my previous posts that my wife and I were expecting the birth of our first child. I am happy to say we have a healthy happy boy named Riley John Joseph. He was born on the 24th of April this year and has been such a blessing to us ever since.
I wish I could say the good news continues, unfortunately, it most definitely does not.
On the 05th of July this year, my family and I attended a funeral for my mother’s brother-in-law. He had been battling with cancer for years and finally, he could fight no longer. As my dad was seen as the patriarch of the family (his side and my mom’s), he was asked to give the eulogy at my Uncle’s funeral.
He gave an amazing eulogy and ended it by saying “I hope that when it’s my turn to go, that someone will be able to stand here and have as many great things to say about me, as I have said for *Uncle*.
If irony needed no clearer definition, my Dad passed away that very same night. It was a Friday night and my wife and I had just settled our boy for the night and had just sat down to unwind and watch television.
I received a call from a private number (I generally don’t answer calls from hidden numbers, especially when it is on a Friday night). I don’t know what made me take the call, but I answered. It was my folks security company to say that the panic button had been pressed at my folk’s residence and they could not get hold of anyone there.
This had happened previously, only for me to race into my parents driveway and found that it was only a false alarm.
I phoned my Dad’s cell phone expecting my Dad to give me some cocky retort. However, the phone was answered by my mom who was hysterical. The only part I needed to hear was that my Dad wasn’t breathing.
A 6 minute journey turned into an infinite unbearable one. I arrived at my folks place to find an security member already there. I raced in doors and found my Dad lying with his eyes open and not breathing. I panicked at first, then remembered to keep calm for my mom. We both tried giving CPR. At one stage I could have sworn that he started breathing. I later learnt that the sound that came from his mouth was what they call “the death rattle”.
My sister and husband arrived soon after and by that time, the paramedics arrived on the scene. We were told to wait outside so that the paramedics could perform their duties uninhibited by a panic stricken family. Our family GP also arrived. He went in to see if he could assist.
I noticed the look on his face when he came back out (my family were all trying to restrain my mom from going back in).
It is very rare when a person can consciously comprehend a life changing or defining event.
I had accepted the worse and knew it was true. The trick was to keep it to myself and not ruin any hopes the rest of my family was holding onto.
The paramedics eventually allowed us in to monitor what they were doing. Trying to resuscitate a person is nothing like you see on TV. It’s brutal and it will leave it’s mark on you forever. We all had to watch as my father’s body was almost collapsing under the compressions being administered by the paramedics. Blood was coming from the top of my Dad’s head as it was resting on the tiles.
These are images I wish to God, I could forget.
The paramedics finally confirmed what I knew (and what my family were dreading on hearing).
My dad was gone.