Friday, September 20, 2013

Sept. 20th, Death

This past summer was pretty awesome. I got to go back to London and do all sorts of great stuff and make new friends and meet up with old ones. I wrote all about that trip already, just go back to my May 2013 posts.
Even though all that was great, I was dealt a dose of reality too.
Before you think that something tragic and permanent happened, let me tell you that things are fine now.
So, my dad was having debilitating pains in his upper guts, and thought it was maybe his lung or something, and it happened two or three times since the beginning of the year. The pain was last for no more than a day, and I guess once you feel better you don't feel like going to the doctor. Then one morning my mom called me at work saying that my dad was in the ER and they don't know what's wrong, etc. and I sort of had a melt-down. I thought my dad was dying. So, yeah, that wasn't fun at all. I took the day off and rushed to the hospital to see what was going on.
After X-rays with no info and blood tests that were inconclusive at first (since I guess they didn't know what to look for), it was eventually realized that his pancreas was freaking hugely swollen and that's what was causing the huge pains. They took about a day to realize why he had pancreatitus - they discovered that his gallbladder wasn't functioning properly anymore.
So he had to stay a full week in the hospital and recover and be miserable. My mom was a trooper and stayed with him almost the whole time. I got stuff done at home so they wouldn't have to worry about it.
Overall it was hugely stressful and worrisome.
A few weeks after getting out of the hospital, my dad got his gallbladder removed and has been doing perfectly well. They didn't let him keep the organ in a jar though. I bet they just threw it away. Wasteful...

The reason I wrote all that out was because tons of family were calling me - my mom and dad were busy with hospital stuff - and I was telling them what I could, and their worry was heartfelt and sincere. I started to think how much worse it would be if he had been worse. Then I started thinking about how, someday, he WILL die. We all will. I believe in heaven and that I'll see my loved ones again, but that wasn't the point.
I'm pretty lucky that no one in my close family has passed away from anything but old age, and those people have been my great-grandparents. With my dad's health scare, I thought about how one of my aunts or uncles will be the first to die in their family. It could even be one of my parents. Someday it will be my cousins, my brothers, and someday it will be me.
For a long time, there hasn't been any family funerals for me to attend. I have a decently large family with dozens and dozens of cousins and aunts and uncles and my grandparents, and I think the last relative's funeral I went to was my great-grandpa's in 2001.
Anyway, I'm not meaning to dwell on the frailty of life and sad stuff, just that realizing that people I know and love are going to die, and that I'm going to die and leave behind loved ones, was kind of a weird thought to process. I guess it made me think about how our time on earth is limited. I could get all deep and stuff and write about how we should all take advantage of out time and why, and tell you how I learned to seize the day and you should too, etc..... But I'm not going to write about any of that. I should get life insurance instead.
Maybe some people think about the reality of dying more often and younger than I have, but I feel like, for me, it's important to think about. How will I handle the inevitable event of someone I care deeply about dying? I hope that it doesn't happen for a very long time, that's for sure.

I don't have any sort of conclusion here, so this is probably an awkward ending.
See you tomorrow (I hope)!

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