Expat Life in Dubai

My Father Passed Away.

August 5, 2014

My father passed away.

It was Sunday, 27th of July 2014, I just spent a great sponsored weekend at a luxury property in Doha. I met my friend Donessa and we were just about to go out to explore the city in depth. I checked my phone for time and I saw my aunt’s registered missed call, in that instance I already knew my father passed away. I don’t know why nor how, I just knew that my father passed away. I called her back, she was sobbing. I cried. The same night, I was on my way to Manila with a stopover in Dubai holding a confirmed one way ticket. I didn’t even bother getting one of my discounted staff tickets as I can’t risk being a chance passenger and delaying my travel. I needed to go back home as soon as possible.

My father passed away.

And I wasn’t even able to say goodbye. I have wasted so many times and opportunities to tell and show him that I love him and I have no other person to blame but myself. I have deliberately avoided talking to him as hearing his weak voice depresses me, immensely. I am not used to hearing my father in such a state and in those rare times that I’ve spoken to him, I always felt devastated afterwards. I avoided talking to him as it makes me sad but now that he’s gone and I wasn’t able to say goodbye, the sadness that I’m feeling is a thousand fold. It is unbearable and I’ll be carrying the guilt for the rest of my life.

My father passed away.

The last person who spoke to him that day was my sister-in-law, she gave him his dinner. He ate and went to bed. After a few hours, my brother checked on him and found him lying face down on the floor. My brother later explained that every time my father is experiencing cardiac arrest, he would crawl towards the bathroom to shower himself with cold water. He didn’t make it to the bathroom and his last breathe was there, on the floor. I can’t help but think how much he suffered? What was he thinking during that time? Was he scared? Was he in pain? Was he calling my brother’s name? Was he calling for help at all? Why was I not there?

My father passed away.

Our family is a complicated twist of unsaid things and events. I was already in college when I found out that my parents were actually separated because my father had an affair with another woman. My mother never told us anything, nor did he. It was life as normal for all of us. It was only 5 years ago, when my mother visited me in Dubai did I know the whole story. My mother told me that my father used to bring me to his mistress’ house when I was a kid and funnily enough, I remembered those times that I was with my father visiting a woman. I was probably 6 or 7 years old during that time. A woman with a granddaughter who I used to always play with. The little girl even became my classmate when I was in high school and I noticed how some of our clothes were identical, of course at that time I never paid attention. I wonder now if that kid knew that my father was having an affair with her grandmother and if she thought I was stupid all along for being oblivious of what’s happening.

During the wake, I was looking for the mistress. I wanted to see her. I wanted her to be there. I wanted to know that she was worth the risk my father took when he chose the life that he has chosen, to be away from my mother. To be away from the loving family that he and my mother built together. I wanted for my father to feel that she was worth it all but she never came. Not even once.

I felt sad for my father but I hope he knows that my mother never really left him. She was always there for him, never spoke ill of him. She was the one who’s always financing his medication and hospital bills while the mistress never even spent a single centavo for him when he was sick. My mother used to tell me that my father may not be a great husband but he was a great father to us and I believed her. Even after I found out the whole truth about my father’s infidelity, the love I have for him never changed because my mother was absolutely right. If she, the wife who lost a husband to another woman, can still love him even from afar and even if that love was never reciprocated, then there must be something about my father worth all those pain that she suffered. I hope my father knows that.

My father passed away.

A day before my father took his last breathe, my brother heard my father talking to himself. Probably saying his thoughts out loud. He was asking for forgiveness from my mother, my brother, my sisters and myself. I was happy to know that during his last few days, he realized that it was us, his family who he chose. He wanted us to forgive him but funnily enough, I have never thought that there is a need for me to forgive him as he has never done anything wrong towards me. It is I who should be asking for forgiveness from him.

My father passed away.

I had to type that sentence over and over again as I still can’t believe that my father did pass away even if I have witnessed with my own two eyes that his coffin was being laid to the ground and was covered afterwards with soil. When I saw him during the wake, I saw my father peacefully sleeping not lifeless. His face was so calm as if he was just taking one of his afternoon naps. It breaks my heart to know that I will never see him again. He may be 6-feet under but his memories, those rare memories of him will stay in my heart.

My father passed away.

I disconnected myself from the interwebs as soon as I arrived home last Sunday. I never told anyone what happened, just my very close friends. I didn’t want this to be a public affair, people giving me their condolences which I won’t be sure if it was sincere or not. A friend of mine who’s father also passed away told me that she was waiting for me to post about it on Facebook because only then will she know that I’m ready to talk about it. She was absolutely right. I always felt awkward what to say to someone who lost a loved one as I never really know how they’re feeling. Now that I have lost my dear father, I realized that silence is the best way to console a grieving person. Just knowing that someone’s there for me is enough, even if that someone said not even a word.

My father passed away.

And I’m writing about it because this is the only way I can think of to keep his memory forever alive.

My father passed away.

He wasn’t a good husband to my mother nor was he the greatest father but he was mine, he was my father and I will always love him just the same.

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3 Comments

  • Reply yvonnelaura August 29, 2014 at 11:41

    I am so sorry for you loss

  • Reply zenkitty August 5, 2014 at 23:07

    This is beautifully written. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Reply Matthew Curry August 5, 2014 at 15:29

    I’m so sorry.

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