My father and I have never been close. He was physically/verbally abusive to me when I was growing up. He also struggled with a substance abuse problem. He was in and out of my life a lot, and like many kids with an abusive parent, I dreaded the times he was present more than the times he would leave. When I turned 17, I bolted from my hometown on the coastal northeast and fled for the Pacific Northwest. I would go months without speaking to him and years without seeing him. He would achieve sobriety for periods of time, but it always came coupled with born again religious bigotry. Eventually he learned to become sober without using hate and bitterness as a catalyst. He found a new wife (my mother left him before I can even remember them together) and built a life for himself. I forgave him for what he'd done, he knew that, but I never found it easy to have a relationship with him. Conversations were seldom, forced and mostly consisted of small talk. He helped me out financially a couple of times as an adult, which I'll be forever grateful for, but other than that, we didn't have much of a bond.
About 6 years ago, he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He tried various treatments that helped prolong his life, but ultimately this was a death sentence. His condition progressively worsened over the years, it being 5 since I'd seen him after his diagnosis.
Fast forward to a few months ago, he began to go downhill very quickly. He was placed on a ventilator because his breathing had gotten so bad. Eventually, they had to put in a tracheal ventilator because of oral lesions and keep him sedated so that he could get enough oxygen. About a month into this, still hospitalized, he acquired a massive infection and went into septic shock. His care team told my family that he would likely never wake up and that it would be best to say our goodbyes. I flew home that day to make my peace. I said my goodbyes, spent time with my family, and left, everyone expecting him to pass shortly after.
I'm not very open with my feelings with any of my close friends or even family, so rather than drag out the entire ordeal, I simply told anyone who asked that he'd passed and that I'd prefer not to discuss the details, as it was personal. I couldn't bear the idea of this being an ongoing thing where people constantly berate me with questions. Plus, to me and all of my family, he wasn't coming back.
Two days ago I received a phone call saying that he'd woken up after over two months and wanted to hear my voice. He couldn't talk because of the ventilator but had been able to coherently request that he have a DNR put in place and the ventilator be removed. Through my family, my dad told me that it was the end and to know that he loved me. He died later that evening, hopefully peacefully and unafraid.
I'm not generally a very outwardly emotional person, preferring to keep most things to myself. Well, now that the reality of this is setting in, it sucks, it kinda hurts, and I feel like I can't tell anyone other than some equally fucked up strangers on Imgur.
TL;DR - OP thought he was an emotionless asshole but probably isn't.