An ordeal during Pandemic 2020

As we know, this covid pandemic has shaken our entire life. It causes my salary cut & this virus has taken away my dad. I live with my mom who divorced from my dad since 18 years ago, but my relation with my dad was fine until mid of 2018 when a problem suddenly emerged that has crashed my relationship with him, after we've gone through a fierce argumentation back and forth via WhatsApp chat. Thereafter I didn't want to contact him anymore like used to be. I felt deeply hurt & very disappointed. I don't understand why he easily relinquished his responsibility as a father towards me as his only child. Actually since the divorce my mom and my close family already told their opinion about my dad's relinquishment towards me and I was the only one who never want to believe that. But his reaction performed towards me by mid 2018 has proven that my belief about him was wrong. He only concerned about himself rather than his responsibility to my crucial needs. I felt so hurt till every time I prayed I could only cry and hoped that my heartache could heal. January 11th, 2020, my mom suddenly informed me that my dad had a cancer, as what he told her. He was hospitalized in North Jakarta which is 48 KM from our home. Before the pandemic arisen, my mom & I could only visit him twice due to its very far distance. When we were about to end our second visit & I said goodbye to him, I couldn't take off my eyes from him like had a sort of hunch as I felt somewhat a whisper in my heart saying “this is your last meeting with him”. After the pandemic started we couldn't even visited him at all. Since end January to March 2020 my dad underwent chemotherapy and most of time he was hospitalized. April 4th 2020 at around 3;00 PM suddenly I got a bad news from my dad's close friend saying that he was critical. I was shocked & immediately checked with his younger sister who accompanied him at the hospital. She confirmed about his critical condition & was about to be moved to isolated ICU since his doctor just found out that somehow he got infected by covid virus. His lung X-rays shown white & his kidneys got suddenly failed. I felt so shocked, deeply confused, hard to believe that covid could attack him while he had been hospitalized. His covid status prevented me from seeing him. Fortunately I got a chance to talk to him despite shortly through my aunt's cellphone & expressed my feeling by saying : "I love you dad" while crying & also said : “actually I've already forgiven you”. He could still hear me & replied me : “I love you too” In the evening around 8;00 PM my aunt intensively communicated with me & my mother, updating about dad's declining condition. At 9;35 PM my aunt told us about his weakening breath. At 9;45 PM she told us that he has gone. I got hysterical, couldn't accept the fact that he died so fast, when my big problem with him had not been resolved yet. His death due to covid prevented me & all of our close family from seeing his body nor attending his cremation process. His ashes was kept in one ashes storage house in West Jakarta. I tried to accept the fact that my dad was no longer around. Remember his kindness, miss the times of confiding in him as he was the one to whom I could express my complaints about anything related to anybody & soothed my heart when I faced problems. But when I remember how he reacted that has crashed my relation with him, I felt again a deep disappointment. My feelings were messed up between longing, annoyance, disappointment, sadness, love, good memories. A week later I followed a big online mass of spirits and submitted his name to be prayed for. I also held a private online mass via zoom to commemorating 100 days of his death and asked our parish priest to lead the mass, joined by close family, friends and Catholic communities in our neighborhood to pray for his eternal peace and happiness. Those all I can do for him. 2 weeks thereafter my mom had an accident fell from a ladder around 1.2 m height, she fell straight on her buttocks and back. Luckily no bone cracks nor fractures happened, so she didn't need to be hospitalized. I took few days leave to take care of her to certain extent. However she needed 3 months to recover 90%, during which she couldn't drive nor accompany me to visit my dad's ashes while I'm not able to drive far distance myself. Only by November 2020 my mom was able to accompany me visiting his ashes. I cried a lot & “talked” to him, let all my feelings out towards him. I prayed for him. Felt rather released for finally I was able to visit him despite only in form of his ashes that was stored in a marble jar. I still need time to accept that he has truly gone moreover as a victim of Covid too. Until now I sometimes cry when remembering his kindnesses but I have to continue my life. He'll be always in my heart. May God forgive all his sins & grant him a heavenly happiness. I love my dad but I believe God loves him much more.

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Hamza

Writer, Medical student, Soccer fan

Sassuolo, Italy