I spent all weekend debating, discussing, and delaying. I had been warned I had only days left if I wanted to say my goodbyes to my uncle, and I could not decide if I wanted to go. Whatever I decided, knowing I had to make this decision, explaining my reasons for and against to my trusted friends, and even a few friends who aren't that trusted, brought up some stuff I have spent most of my life ignoring. I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to spend one single second of my life on it. And now it's here, in my head. Not just that even. Everything. The reasons I don't spend much time with my mom's family. Or with my dad's family. The consequences of actions that weren't mine. The consequences of my actions, things that I can't change now even if I wanted to. It all tore through my head like a tornado. And it left as much of a mess behind.
It was Thursday when I was first told that I should go if I wanted to go. But I couldn't go Thursday, I had unchangable plans. Friday wasn't so great either, I hadn't decided yet. Saturday I was pretty sure I wasn't going to go. Sunday I had definately decided not to go. Suddenly, Monday I got off work a half hour early and I knew I had to go. Even as I drove to the hospital I debated. I finally called my siste-in-law wondering if my brother had gone, and if so how it had been. He'd gone in the morning, it was good, but if I wanted she would come with me. So I picked her up and we went. The woman at the visitor's entrance looked up the room number for me, but when we walked in the room, no one was there. We walked to the desk at the front of the oncology unit and asked.
"Hang on, I'll call and ask" the woman said to us. She looked younger than me. I noticed that I thought she might be in high school and I wondered if she was even old enough to work in the hospital.
"I have the niece of room 349 here." she said into the phone. A few noises that acknowledged what the person on the other end said. She looked back up at us,
"I'm sorry, I have to tell you he expired this afternoon." She explained that they thought the family had all been informed. That he had been left in the room for awhile for everyone to say their goodbyes but that he had just gone down to the morgue.
We turned around and left. I texted my mom saying I had gone to the hospital and how was she. Only after she said her head was a little messed up did I tell her I knew. She had forgotten to tell me. Or my brother.
So. do I regret that I didn't make it in time? I said I wouldn't regret not going, but I might regret it if I did. I'm still processing a little. Deciding how I feel about missing my chance. I'm a believer that things happen the way they're supposed to happen. Maybe I wasn't supposed to say goodbye. Maybe I wouldn't have offered any comfort in those last few days. But maybe I would have. And that's what I have to deal with. I could have offered comfort to a sick man who couldn't have hurt me, and I denied both him and myself that chance. I don't think I regret it though.