Everyone wants you to be okay, but is it really okay to say you feel like crap?
I miss my father. I miss his face. I miss his hugs, his encouragement, the little gifts he’d bring me just because he knew they’d put a smile on my face. I miss the way he managed to keep our family solid and thriving, despite the dysfunction that runs oh so deep. I miss his presence, I miss his voice; the way he’d call me on the phone for no reason other than to say hi, and sound so upbeat and happy- despite his declining health- that it was hard not to be infected by his joie de vivre.
I miss his friendship, I miss his endorsements and I miss not having a grandpa for my kids to bear hug, to read with, to pass on his memories, his hopes, dreams and love. I just plain miss him, and no amount of pretending I don’t, carrying on with life as it should be, cracking jokes to mask the pain, cleaning out my mother’s house in a rote, robotic fashion, touching and handling my father’s the items that are only valuable to me, and having to discard the bulk of them, because how many watches, and collectible pens can one person really keep-all feels a bit like sawing away pieces of my soul.
These things that were so important and crucial to my dad have lost their magic and value as has so much of the fabric of life before his passing. When people ask me, which is proper etiquette on their parts, “how is your mom, how are you?”I want to say we feel like crap-we’re horrible, we’re reeling, we feel like we’ll never recover, there is this open, gaping wound which will never heal, the lifeline of our family has been irrevocably altered and that I am mired in a pit of never ending guilt for all the things I should’ve, could’ve am so frustrated that I did or didn’t do during his lifetime- that it feels like the guilt is systematically invading every pore and crevice of my existence.
But the truth is- no one REALLY wants to hear that– none of us wants to be faced on a daily basis with the fact that each day we are living, death is just one more day closer. It’s morbid, it’s sinister and it does nothing to celebrate and help one find the joy in life. And so, I too am getting on with the business of life- because – what choice do I have- and hoping each day for the possibility that my father is fully aware in some other realm or state of being that we are doing everything we can to honor his legacy and that every part of who we are, as is kids, all the good we bring to the world is a result of him.
I am also trying to find comfort in a passage written by Jim Boulden in his handbook, “Honoring the Memory”, which my mother and I were given at a recent Staten Island support group for survivors.
” I seem to be falling apart. My attention span can be measured in seconds. My patience in mintes. I cry at the drop of a hat. I forget to sogn checks Half of everything in the house is misplaced. Feelng of anxiety and restlessness are my constat companions. Rainy dyas seem extra dreary. Sunny days seem an outrage. Other people’s pain and frustartion seem insignificant. Laughing, happy people seem out of place in my world. It has become routine to feel half crazy. I am normal I am told. I am a newly grieving person.”-Anonymous.