The loss of a parent

The loss of a parent - Lisa Cleghorn

For the past two months, I had to handle the kids, the housework and the groceries all by myself. And on top of all these, I also had to work. Luckily, I am my own boss; otherwise I don’t think I would have pulled it through. No one would have let me have more than the regular three weeks of vacation. And certainly not, during the high season, where most of the companies are hiring extra staff due to the high volume of orders.

This is the first time since we had the kids that I had to do everything alone. Usually these tasks are equally shared between me and my husband. Now, I had to manage it all alone because he had to go back to his country and take care of his dying father. Not an easy thing to do. He had taken two month off without pay from his Edmonton asphalt employer.

Sometimes I think his burden was greater than mine. It had to be. Losing a parent is never easy. When it happens suddenly it is a shock and it is hard to recover from it. You cry for days and wished you would have spent more time with them. You wish that you would have reacted differently and told them more often how much you loved them.

But when death is no longer a surprise, but an end to a year of pain and suffering, you have no more tears left to cry. Death shows you its dual face. You are torn between the fear of not having them around anymore and the relief that they are no longer suffering. These mixed feelings are eating you alive. Although is not like in the movies when you are the one who has to pull the plug on their loved ones, it is a dreadful experience.

Thus, whenever I had an awful day, and I felt like yelling at everyone, I thought of him. His day must have been worse than mine. Wondering at all times if that was the last time he would serve a meal to his dad, or the last time he would hear him talking. Suddenly, my day got brighter and I wouldn't have liked to be in his shoes.

At least, all of us were healthy, and we had each other. That was all that counted at the end of the day. The rest was forgotten.