That’s right, by the end of it all I did just want to you to die. I couldn’t bear to witness your suffering. I became a silent observer as the nurses administered you drugs, took you the toilet and fed you through a tube. You had lost yourself and your dignity.
You were barely conscious, as if half existing in this world, whilst half passing on to the next. You may have been there in body but not in spirit… And I couldn’t bear that.
The days kept dragging on, the hospice visits, the final ‘goodbye’s’, the knowing you were going to pass but not how or when.
I knew death was inevitable, I had come to accept that. But I couldn’t cope with this drawn out process, the thought of you in pain broke me, my once noble dad could barely open his eyes.
As time passed.. I didn’t want to visit you in the hospice every day after school. I didn’t want to witness your slow and sometimes painful demise. I didn’t want to have to say ‘goodbye’ to you one last time…. I had said it over and over, please don’t make me say it again. It was hard enough the first time.
Maybe it was all too painful for me.. Maybe I didn’t know how to handle these huge waves of feelings. I had just lost my mum and now I was losing you.
I was only 18…
I wanted to say a massive fuck you to the world, I wanted all of this to stop. All of this to end. It was all too much for my body to take.
I just wanted to you to die and for this to be over.
Part of me wanted to die to.
For years I’ve felt huge amounts of shame around this particular feeling. Many people couldn’t understand where I was coming from. How could I want my dad to die they said? Let’s be clear.. I didn’t want my dad to die… But I didn’t want him to suffer.
When you have witnessed someone suffering in pain both physically and mentally for what felt like so long, it’s difficult to remember them healthy. It’s hard to be the sole witness to their pain day in day out. I could hide my younger brother from it, but I couldn’t hide it from myself.
It’s also important for me to note that my dad died with very little support from services, for his own reasons he didn’t want any help. If we had some support things may have been different. I may have felt differently. But that wasn’t my reality. My reality felt out of control, as if I didn’t have any knowledge or power as to what was going on, and what could happen. I wasn’t informed, and I was kept in the dark.
So although it still makes me uncomfortable, I look back and understand that I did just want my dad’s suffering to end, and yes I did just want him to die, but now ten years on, I finally don’t feel guilty for harbouring those feelings. It was my reality back then and I have learnt to accept it.