on the absence of pain

There’s no good way to preface terrible news, so let’s just get it out of the way.

On Thursday, my father was playing in the surf in Barbados when a rogue wave caught him. He hit his head, and fractured three vertebrae in his neck (C2, C7, and T1, for my clinical folk). He is paralyzed from the neck down, and on a ventilator as he is currently unable to breathe on his own.

He was airlifted to Canada on Saturday. My sisters and Pea and I drove to his city to meet him and my step-mother at the hospital. He is undergoing an MRI and a CT scan as I type, so that we will know more about the extent and permanence of the damage.

He is alive. He is awake, and aware, and has no brain damage. He can communicate by blinking, so we set up an alphabet board so he can spell things. He’s spelt things like “Happy”, “Love”, “You are great”, “Glad baby is ok” (to Turia), and “House Hunting” to ask me how our hunt is going*. He appears to be in good spirits, but is also obviously scared and sad and worried about what this means for life moving forward.

We all are. Scared. Sad. Worried. The future, whatever it may bring, will certainly come with a very hard year starting now.

I need others beyond my inner circle of family to know what is going on, people whose lives did not just explode, so I’m posting here. You guys are used to my pain face, sadly.


* house hunting is obviously on hold. However, we also didn’t love any of the options we were going to see, so it is not a big loss, which I think I managed to convince my father of.


3 thoughts on “on the absence of pain

  1. Haisla

    Oh no, this is such terrible news!!! I’m so sorry. I’m glad to hear that he was rescued successfully and returned safely to Canada. I’ll be holding him and you and your family in my thoughts. Again, I’m so sorry. Hugs.xx


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