The Death of a Patriarch

June 19, 2010


 We lost a family member recently.  He was the patriarch of the family.  He died in his 70’s.  What can I tell you about him?  He worked as a computer technician for a computer company.  He was also a father of three children and married to the same woman for approximately 30 years.  And now he is gone.  I don’t know what to say about his death.  I watched the life drain out of my father? No I was not in the room when he passed away. But I saw him before. His mouth was open and it wasn’t closing.  He had a breathing tube in his nose to help him breath. His eyes were open. His head was shaking like my head shakes sometimes.  Not for the same reason.  As if he was responding to you but he isn’t responding.  How do we know that he acknowledges that we are there?  I don’t know that you can know that.  

I can’t describe what it feels like to lose a parent. We have all been there.  So I will be quiet on the matter.  But I will tell you this: I have and had no tears right now.  I am numb. I don’t feel anything except anger.  I am not happy. I am not sad. But I will be later.   I am empty right now.  There he lay, not moving, mouth open,  eyes closed, so still.  He didn’t last an hour much less half an hour to forty five minutes.  How do I explain to you?  The doctor told me what to expect.  He told me what might happen. But I didn’t expect it.  DO YOU KNOW WHY?  BECAUSE MY DADDY ISN’T SUPPOSED TO DIE!  So now when I am bored and lonely who can I harass or bother?  Who can I chat with when the other parent, my mother doesn’t want to talk? Who do I run to when I am scared and can’t figure out where to go to?  Do you know?  Who do I talk to when I finally walk down the aisle? Now I understand why he said I won’t be walking her down the aisle. Not just because he didn’t want to nor did he acknowledge me if that were the situation but because he wasn’t expecting to live to see the day of my marriage.  Nor his grandchild.  None of that. He knew he was going to die. Do you know how I know?  Because he refused to talk to me about it.  He talked to other people including D but not to me.  I was the one who didn’t have that conversation. Maybe it didn’t matter to him.  Maybe he thought that I had thought of him as dead already.  I didn’t.  You see, because despite the fact that my mother and I get along in distance, but because he was my safe haven for so many years.  I had that in my mother and sister. And then September 11th happened and they had a lot to deal with. So then I turned to my brother and my father.  Now I can no longer  lean on any of them.  I have to be my own safe haven for that of me and my family that comes in the future.


So we have a funeral to go to.  I hate funerals.  I don’t like the people giving their condolences and I don’t like them hugging you and kissing you.  Why?  Because despite the fact that it is right and polite, I don’t feel that we should be there in some times.  Not that I don’t want them. I do. Its just I have developed an aversion to being touched and hugged and stuff.  It pops up often and it isn’t something I have gotten rid of.  So it depends on when u catch me.  It wasn’t anything that happened to me per se as much as you have invaded my personal space and I need you to give me room.  Therefore I don’t mind you saying that your sorry that he died or that you give your condolences, but please don’t hug me.  Don’t crowd me.  Don’t touch me.  Family does that.  Friends might do that.  Strangers can’t.  Do you understand what I mean?


So I am now facing my life now without my Daddy.  I don’t like that idea.  So to all of you all who thought that I didn’t love my Daddy, my Daddy was the one person who no matter what couldn’t get away and had to listen to me.   But he did listen sometimes. Most times he tuned me out.   Do I want to put this out there?  Not particularly.  Most people have the same sentiments.  Hopefully though you understand that my Daddy was my Daddy and I miss him.  And when I break down, just let me cry and don’t put me on display.  So I don’t have much else to say right now. I will chat ya laterz.     Got to go.



3 thoughts on “The Death of a Patriarch

  1. Ivory says:

    I just wanted to say Nicole how great and heartfelt this entry was. You really opened up you heart for all of us to see. Having lost my Dad 6 years ago, i know what pain you are going through. I feel the same way about funerals. I remember how long it seemed from my dad passing to when the funeral was. I just wanted to get it over with.

  2. Ivory says:

    As far as you felt about the strangers hugging you or touching you, you shouldnt take it so negatively. People just wanted to show their care and love during your time of sorrow. For some, its very hard to express words in a situation like this so they show their care with a hug.

  3. Ivory says:

    Sometimes you need that hug and to be honest the way this world is, we don\’t do it enough. And just one last thing, I know you don\’t like the idea of life without your Dad, but life does go one and he wants you to live and love life. He will always be there in your heart so in a sense, he is always in your life.

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