To be honest, I feel really overwhelmed these days. My dad’s health after chemo has gotten worse and now he is bedridden and cannot even move much. His feet are swollen up like elephants due to the lack of mobility and his stomach keeps filling up with fluid due to spreading cancer; he not only cannot eat but he has to go to the ER almost every week to get the fluid taken out because it blows up like he has a big water balloon in his stomach. His arms are thinner than the skinnier part of a baseball bat and he lost his hair so he looks even more fragile now. His butt and legs are so bony that he cannot sit anymore even in a chair because it is uncomfortable and his bones dig into him. He is also getting progressively more sad and mad; who wouldn’t be in his situation? He is disabled in so many ways and cannot even shower by himself anymore. I can only imagine what he feels as he sees that “death” is becoming something real to him, as real as this chair I am sitting on feels to me as I write this.
The days I used to rely on him for comfort are gone. The only thing I pray for is that I can offer him one millionth of the comfort he’s given me as he has in my life. The days I would happily plan dinner reservations for Father’s Day are gone; I am just hoping he would make it through another one and be able to eat.. anything.
I feel overwhelmed because while I know losing a parent is something that everyone will go through in their life time, there are no rules and there is no one right way to love, support and grieve. I want him to live and fight and hold on but seeing his conditions, wishing so is starting to make me feel selfish. I am between these constant internal battles of trying to feel positive, then if something happens and I feel happy, immediately guilt sets in- how could I possibly be happy right now when my parent is dying and in pain? Then I get sad and I don’t know if that’s what he wants; I know that’s the last thing that he wants actually. Then sometimes I feel nothing and it scares me, but I find peace momentarily of just feeling free from any intense emotions- it must be some kind of a defense mechanism for survival. I get overwhelmed when my friends and boyfriend ask me to plan fun things to do for weekends to come because I’m scared that something will happen with my dad while I’m not with him or that I would have to cancel to be with him and mom as he gets rushed to the hospital for the thousandth time; then I get scared that I won’t ever feel excited or be happy without feeling guilty or worried and I am constantly letting my friends down. And the truth is I need time with them too as much as I want to spend all of my time remaining with my dad. (But as I write this out I have already alleviated some of these worries.)
But right now, all I can do is give the best that I can and carefully architect my present moment, decisions and my future. I don’t know what will happen if my dad passes soon; I don’t know if I’ll be right next to him holding his hand, or somewhere else and I will regret it for life. I don’t know how my mom will do when she loses her best friend and her partner for life. I don’t know how my heart may or may not break watching her try to be overtly strong as she shatters into pieces inside. I don’t know really what the future holds. But all I can do right now is let my roller coaster of emotions be a point of inspiration. What I can do is don’t let my complex array of emotions that change colors frequently not affect those I love around me in any way but with compassion and love. And what I can do is also share the compassion and love with myself for feeling scared, feeling selfish and feeling lost at times, because I know, for what it’s worth, I am giving my absolute best today and that’s enough. More than enough today.
So I hope this serves as a point of inspiration rather than just a sad story I had to share. If you are able to move today, go do something and appreciate it. If you are able to plan a fun Father’s Day dinner, do it and love every second of it. If you are able to feel happy without feeling guilty, enjoy it to the fullest. If you are able to go do something fun with someone you love, do it now because the ability to do so on both parties is not permanent.
But if you’re not able to do much today because of whatever you’re going through also know that it’s okay. Give yourself a break and try to seek this point of inspiration and gratitude from the difficult place you may be in, even if it seems it’s hard to find. And be loving to yourself and forgive yourself for feeling anything but not enough because chances are, you are giving all you got today and that, again, is enough. You are enough today. And you are loved. ❤️
And to end this, here is one one of my favorite TedTalks of all times that reminds us all: I am enough.