When Life Becomes Surreal

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since my father died. Even as I write that it doesn’t seem real to me.

This time two months ago, he was going to work. We were taking trips on the weekends to places like Montauk and Hoboken. He was playing with his grandson, eating his favorite foods, and enjoying life.

I can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s like my brain refuses to process what happened. He was just here. Now he’s gone. 

My father hated being in the hospital. I can’t count how many times he asked the doctors when they thought he’d be able to go home. My mom and I visited every day. During the first week, I’d go during the day while my mom was at work. He always ordered a dessert he knew I’d like with his lunch. Even though he complained about his roommate, he always insisted that I bring an extra newspaper for him.

At the end of the first week, the doctors decided to do a test that required my father to be on on a ventilator.

September 25 was the last time I heard my father’s voice.

He was transferred to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City three days later. The doctors tried for weeks, but were unable to get him off the ventilator. His lung disease continued to get worse and worse until finally, his body couldn’t take it anymore.

The day after he died, a freak snow storm hit NY, and we lost power for 27 hours. My father hated the winter. He would have been so mad that it was snowing in October. My mom insisted that it was his way of messing with us.

That night, my family sat in the dark, and ate pizza–one of my father’s favorite foods–in his memory.

The past two weeks don’t seem real. In a way, I’m relieved that it hasn’t completely hit me yet. I’ve read a lot about grief, and know that part of it means feeling numb. I don’t mind feeling numb right now. It’s what is helping me get through the days. It’s also what helps me look at pictures like this one without falling apart:

1996 My brothers and me with my father in 1996

You may also like


  1. I was in shock for at least a month after my grandfather died. We were really close. It was a shock. I grieved for a year. It took a few years before I wouldn’t cry when we talked about Grandpa. Hang in there. Give yourself time.

  2. So, so, incredibly sorry for you and your family. I think about you often, and I hope that you can eventually find peace. Grieving is not easy, and it will get better with time. Let the outbursts out, express how you feel; and by all means – it is ok to be numb. I will continue to pray for you and your family, I know that losing a loved one is hard. (hugs)

  3. Once again, I am very sorry for your loss! I continue to keep you all in my prayers as you go through this tough time. grief tends to come in waves, and hits us at various times throughout the years. I have a number of posts on grief on my blog (search under the tab “posts by topic for it) that might be helpful to you over the next weeks and months. I just wanted to let you know it was there in case you felt like you were looking for some more information…

  4. Rebecca I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. From the way you write about him I know your father was a wonderful man and there is so much of that wonderfulness alive in you still. Praying for you x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.