My dad died on November 30th of last year. He was 58. He had diabetes, and refused to take care of himself. Eventually, his kidneys started failing. When he went into the hospital for tests, it was discovered that his heart rate was 32. So, what was already a problem turned into a bigger one. Suddenly, he was a heart patient. He was rushed into surgery to have a stent put in. Two weeks after he returned home, he passed away some time in the night. My mother, who works nights, returned home to find him. She believes he passed peacefully. I will never tell her this, but from the position of his body, I don't think he went as peacefully as she believes. He was lying sideways on the bed, as if he was woken up in pain, and sat up. The "soft smile" she saw on his face was probably rigor mortis. I'll always remember that day. The image of his pale, lifeless body is burned into my mind. What's more, since I was the closest person in the family to home, I was notified before anyone else. It fell to me to tell my brothers the news. My youngest brother took it the hardest. Another thing will stay in my mind is hearing him break down into tears over the phone. I have hardly ever seen him cry.
As I approach the one year anniversary of the event, the emotions that I feel are still so conflicted. My father was not a good person. He was rude, he was closed-minded, he was lazy, he was a bigot. I never got along with him. I more than once likened him to a Dementor from Harry Potter. When he entered a room, all of the happiness in it was instantly sucked out. I have so few memories of the two of us spending any actual quality time together. Most of my memories are of our fights. I can't bring myself to hate him, though. He was still my father. As much as we fought, as much as he angered me, I still always tried to reach out to him. I'm not sure he really knew how to relate to people, though. He never showed much interest in who I was as a person. He belittled me for the things I loved, mostly because they were not the things that he loved. He had a very narrow view of what was valuable in the world, and anything or anyone that did not fit into that view was worthless to him. As cold as it sounds, I don't miss my father. When I think about him, I lament the fact that we never could be close, more than I lament the fact that he is no longer in my life.
Sorry. I wrote a lot there, and none of it very happy stuff. It just helps me to talk about it, and get it off my chest.