The news that anyone who has a loved one in intensive care dreads to hear. My mum called me early in the morning and calmly said that my dad wasn’t going to make it, the hospital told her late last night that he took a turn for the worse, and that there was nothing more they could do. His lungs can’t function without the support of the machine, and so they will administer morphine whilst they gradually turn it off.
I knew it was coming, but nothing really prepares you for it. Everyone dies right? I text my boss and he called me to say don’t worry about work, but a wave of emotion hit me and I started crying, my hands shaking. I just told him that I felt I let my father down, he’ll never see me get married, have children, that I’m such a selfish person. My boss reassured me that I was the least malicious person he knew, hard-working, and perhaps this will make me approach life differently, for the better.
My brother admitted that dad always loved me the most as his youngest daughter, that I shouldn’t waste time having regrets, but to take this as an opportunity to make him proud by fulfilling those ambitions he had for me. I found it tough having a strict father that had high expectations. I found dating difficult in case he didn’t approve, the strange thing was that my brother said in the end I don’t think it would have mattered whether they were Asian or not, but as long as they made me happy.
Death is imminent. He’s the only person who calls me Abida (everyone else it’s Abi). I’ll never hear his voice asking me whether I’ve eaten and how my day’s been. I guess I took it for granted. Pragmatically, I know it’s his time, and that he will no-longer suffer, he accomplished more in his lifetime than I could ever imagine. From a refugee during the partition to a scholarship to study in the UK, working his way up, encountering racism in the workplace, to being successful in his career. In the end, he was loved very much by friends and family, that’s all that matters. Goodbye, dad xxx