It was weird how they told me. They asked me to come over to my parents house, deliberately failing to inform me that he was already gone.
I felt weird though, like I knew that Daddy going to the hospital was a very bad sign. After all, if they had to call an ambulance, it didn't bode well for him. And how many times can a person escape death really. Daddy had escaped death three times. And I was afraid his luck was all spent up.
When I got there everyone was waiting for me outside the house. And then I knew it was bad. Really bad when I saw the ambulance parked there. I knew what happened, but I needed to hear.
They couldn't finish the sentence. They just kept saying, "Si Daddy mo..."
And I kept saying, "No."
It was a denial. I couldn't accept it. I still can't.
For days, I refused to even take a peek at him inside that blasted coffin. I wanted to remember him alive, so I didn't want to look at him lying there.
19 days after that fateful evening, I still can't bring myself to go back to my parents' house. I can't accept the fact that he is no longer there.
Sometimes, I act like I'm okay. I feel okay. And it scares me.
I scare myself. I cannot possibly be okay. My brain is still protecting me from the truth.
Sometimes, the truth takes a hold of me, and I break down. Grief overwhelms me and I sob. The pain is debilitating. And then it passes, and I'll be laughing again like nothing happened.
I cannot accept the fact that he's gone. I refuse to go back to that house and see the changes. His clothes are gone. My mother has gotten rid of his things. He no longer lives there. His clothes aren't there. His perfume..his favorite blanket and pillows.. they're all gone, and I don't want to see all these changes that mean only one thing - we no longer have him.
I don't know what's the right way to grieve. I don't know if I'm grieving. Do you grieve when you can't accept the fact that there's something that you have to grieve about?
My father wasn't perfect, but he was stable. The one sure thing in my life. The one person that I can depend on and rely upon. The one person who never left, who was with me all these years. My father was the one person I can go to when I need things fixed. He never fails to fix things for me - whatever they may be. He was my source of comfort - the one person I know who would fight for me, would protect me. I no longer have that - and it's difficult to accept that.
I can't. Not now. I don't know when. But until then, I refuse to go back to that house.