Exactly 365 days: I still cannot believe that my dad is gone

Today marks exactly one year since I received at 4:20 AM that phone call from my brother Max Benito Bazile, informing me that he had to rush our dad to the hospital in Haiti. I remember asking him lots of questions to which he had no answers. Ultimately I ask him to please keep me updated on the evolution of the situation. Less than 30 minutes after I heard the phone ringing again while I was trying to fall asleep. I quickly grab the phone and saw that it was my brother calling again. At this point I told myself that it has to be a bad news. In about 30 minutes there is no way for my dad condition to be so much improved that my brother would call to share the good news. When I picked up the call, Benito just told me: ” Junior, be strong”. I, then, asked him, ” what do you mean, Benito”. He said, “once I say that you should understand what happened”. I asked him, ” do you mean my dad is dead”. He said yes.

I couldn’t continue the conversation. I was so upset and in complete disbelief that I had to hang up. I couldn’t even share the news with other members of the family. Linda had to do so. I spent the whole day in bed with my mind jumping from topics or ideas to ideas. It was a very very bad day. I lost other family members (uncles, cousins) before, but my dad’s death was a wake up call for me, I soon started realizing how painful the loss of a loved one can be. I started asking myself questions like: “Am I never going to see him again for real?”

My relationship with my dad was a unique one. Growing up in Haiti, he was very firm and straightforward with me. He would discipline me in the way that he knew so well how to do it. I really hated those type of disciplinary measures. However with time, I came to understand that despite how hard he would discipline me, he truly loved me with all his heart. He truly loved all his children with all his being. He did the best that he could for all of us. Overall, he did very well.

He certainly died of a heart attack. The cause of death was never clearly elaborated. I had a lengthy conversation with one of the doctors that was treating him when I went to Haiti for the funerals. The healthcare system in my beloved Haiti is and has always been in limbo. Now with the latest protests and riots, the situation is getting even worse.

I would give anything to see my dad’s smile again. I would give anything to hear his unique way of laughing again (my sister Johane and my brother Stanley used to make so much fun of the way that dad laughed). Like in all other Haitian families, in my family we are not used to a lot of verbal expression of love, but I know that my dad loved me very much and I know that he knew that I loved him very much. I am doing way better now with my own kids to ensure that with both actions and verbal expression they can know and rest assured that I deeply love them.

I strongly believe that my dad is in peace in heaven. I cannot wait to see him again. I love you dad. Please rest in peace, until we meet again.