I couldn't find an appropriate place to post this, but I feel a rather strong need to write this, anonymously. Please move if there is an appropriate place.
I lost my father recently (in October to be specific), and to tell the truth, it hasn't really bothered me until now. My mom called to tell me, and I just said "ok". I mean, I wasn't really fine; looking back, I was fighting back the tears all the time, nearing insomniac, and trying not to think about it at all. I wasn't going to let them see me cry.
I didn't really cry for a few weeks. My ipod was on shuffle; it stopped on Jet's "Hey Kid"; I held in tears the whole bus ride back.
At that moment, I'd come to realize that I hadn't actually said "goodbye". I think my exact words were something akin to "hey, dad. It's me." It tore me up-still does- that I'd failed to do something so simple. It feels wrong, a sin, if I believed in those.
I cry at funerals, that's what I do. I didn't expect this to be any different, and it wasn't. Except that there were two of them; one at home, one for the family that couldn't be there. I wasn't expecting to have to do it twice.
After that, I moved on. I started talking in the past tense so people would ask, and I'd say in a happy voice with a smile that my father had died. They'd pity me, and I'd tell them I'm fine; I always say I'm fine. For all intents and purposes, I had put this behind me.
I think, for the most part, I'd pretended as though nothing had changed; if I thought of it, I'd turn up the volume, and find something to distract me. But like that moment on the bus, it comes, it hits, at the strangest moments.
The other day I realized that I miss hearing him curse downstairs, miss hearing the crash and come running down the stairs to find him sprawled on the floor, blood sugar low, having to haul all 170 lbs of dead weight into a sitting position and fight to fix what had gone wrong. I miss it; it was my life, my life at home. Everywhere else, this life was forgotten. Perhaps that's why I've forgotten it, being away from home. Now it's coming back.
Other things are bothering me to now, like how it bothers me he's buried in Sioux Falls, like how he's been cremated, like how I can't stop thinking about it.
I want to take back everything I said, and I said a lot. At first I thought that because we'd never been close, this would be easier. It's not. And we were closer than I thought.
In some ways, I haven't come to terms with it. It's still not real, and it might never be. At the very least it feels good to talk.
the only thing i can say is that you can hide pain and feelings from others but never from yourself, cause they will always follow you. your feelings are yours and only you know how to deal with them, but you have to deal with them. the emotional roller coaster is normal, so, put on your seat belt and take that ride and deal with those feelings. the loss of a loved one is never easy, and talking about it feels better, so confide in someone that will not judge you, for whatever your reasons you have deep emotions about your dad so you must have good reason.
My Dad died in 1995, July. We were there in Pennsylvania but I had just left him after spending numerous hours at the hospital. When I came home to sleep and get a bite to eat, my sister and mother went to be with him.
When they left him at the end of visiting hours, and was pulling out of the parking lot, he went into cardiac arrest and died.
I answered the phone and got the message because I knew my mother and sister weren't strong enough to deal with it. I also called the funeral palor to get him back to New Jersey for the burial.
I didn't cry much during the process. I was stoic and strong. My breakdown occurred about 4 to 5 months later as I was driving down the street. I pulled into the back of a lot and sat there, screaming and crying. It brought a poor cop out to find out what was happening. When I explained, he said "okay, you cry it out and I'll sit over there. If you need anything, simply flash your headlights" I'll stay with you until your through and he did.
I cried for about 45 minutes straight. It was a release and I felt better.
A few months after that, my husband was woken by my kids who said they hear mommy downstairs crying. he came down only to find me napping on the couch and crying in my sleep. He woke me up, we talked and that was it. I don't cry that often about my Dad.
So, there's no timetable for when it happens, or how soon or long after a burial. Give it up when it does, you'll be at peace afterward.
I lost my wonderful husband in April of 2005 suddenly in front of my face when I was not more than a foot away and this was 2 hours after he was released from the hospital. I still cry off and on about the injustice of it all but for all the tears there is laughter and smiles as well.
I hope it helps you heal. Don't carry anger, it will fester inside you and cause all sorts of health problems.
Aeryn,I'm very sorry about the loss of your dad.I lost my dad on August 17th 2008.
Whether you were close or not,it's still going to hurt because he was your father and no one can ever take his place.It does hit at strange times and out of nowhere.I can just be on a walk or watching tv,and I'll just say, "I miss my dad."-because I do.
I loved him so much,and we were very close.We spoke everyday and saw each other at least weekly.Sometimes he would spend a few weeks at a time with me and my family because that's where he wanted to be and it made him happy.
My dad died as I held his hand.I just hugged him and cried and said, "no dad don't die."(-after I had told him that it was okay to die about 10 minutes before.)
I didn't want him to suffer (the tumor in his lung was cutting off his breathing as it was growing until he couldn't breath anymore) and trying to keep him holding on any longer would have been selfish of me.It's such a hard thing to go though.His heart kept beating for a few more minutes after he stopped breathing.He had a strong heart and his kidneys were fine,if only the tumor could have been removed,he'd probably still be here.But surgery wasn't an option.My dad was very active and even held a part time job cooking, until he was 80 yrs.old.He continued to do his masonary and yard work up until the few months before he died.He was very active which kept him strong.
When we brought him home from the hospital and he was feeling better,he went in the back and began to sweep the driveway,but just got so winded and couldn't do it.That was the last time.I think that was probably the worst part for my dad-not being able to do the things he did daily that he enjoyed,like working in the yard.
I didn't really cry at the wake or the funeral.( I was probably all cried out from the 6 days/nights I spend at his bedside while he was in the hospital, before he came home with me on hospice.) I'm sure God and my dad helped me to keep it together which I never thought I could do.But when we came home,and he wasn't there anymore,I cried.I'm crying now.We miss them and that's okay.There is no time limit for us to grieve.
It helps to talk about how you feel and what you are going through.It also helps other members on the board (myself included).
Don't worry about everything you wish you didn't say.Leave the past in the past and try to think of the good things.You'll always have your memories.
Thanks for letting me share mine.
marie1973: I was reading your post and my goodness, I can't tell you how much that sounded like I wrote it about my daddy. My father and I were extremely close as well, talked everyday and saw each other 2-3 times a week, he couldnt stand not being able to do the things he use to either b/c he simply had no energy. Although my father was only 65. But I know exactly what you mean about just doing the littlest things and just have to say "I miss my dad" I do that ALL the time...just the other day on the way home from church I cried and couldnt stop crying b/c he was on my mind and I felt him so much, my husband just sit in the drivers seat quiet and my mom was in the back crying with me saying "its okay, we all have our moments, let it out".....so I feel your pain as well.....
It is always hard to lose a parent, close or not close, my dad and sister had a rocky relationship for about 14 years and she misses him everyday, I dont know if in some ways hers is guilt for not being there but she still misses him. It is a pain we cant explain until it hits us...I too didnt cry so much at the viewing/wake b/c I felt my whole emotions and tears for the 5 days leading to that day prepared me, God protected me and my hurt as well. My dad went in an ambulance from my home (where him and mom stayed his last week of time at "home" )on July 4 2008 and God took my daddy July 9th after we told him it was okay to go, he said he didnt want to go but had no choice, with me and the rest of my family holding his hand, kissing his forehead and saying our "I Love You's" through our tears. I am only expressing my emotions b/c i know it helps others to know they arent alone in their losses as well as helping me express my sadness to others who can relate.
It is hard, but somehow we make it through and we all will and hope that time can heal some of our hurt and remember all the good they brought to our lives and how we can share that and carry them with us through life that way.
God Bless you all and I hope you have comfort in the bad times ahead....
Thank you so much for your post. I'm also one of those people who feels the need to put on the happy face and to be in control. My dad died last November and I was the strong one. I made sure we arranged the funeral, I helped buy my mom a car when her's broke, I gave the euology. When my mom couldn't afford to bury my dad's cremains, I paid for it and made the arrangements. I couldn't break down and be sad because everyone else needed me to be strong. I blocked it out and pretended he really wasn't gone. Now it's hitting me.
During the last few months of my dad's life, I was the project manager on a large and out of town project. My bosses told me to stay home and spend time with him, but my dad lived two hours away and so it wasn't like being home I could go see him in the evenings so I chose to keep working and to go out there as many weekends as I could. I was there the weekend before he died and I knew it was coming. He was so weak and he couldn't speak and he was so frail. I tried to tell myself that he would get better, but in my heart of hearts, I knew that he would be leaving soon. He died the morning after Thanksgiving and I was out there before they had taken his body from the nursing home. He looked so peaceful and my mom seemed in control. She'd made the arrangements, etc. She wasn't and she broke down and I had to be strong and tell her it was okay. Nothing broke my heart more than seeing my bother crying over my dad's body in the funeral home. They'd been together for 46 years, since she was 16 years old and he was gone and she's all alone.
We stayed with her and made sure she was settled and then worked with her to make the arrangements. My father's service was beautiful and so many people came and talked about what a wonderful person he was. I gave the euology and I was strong. I was there for my kids and husband who broke down and thanked my dad for welcoming him into his family. I was strong for the relatives who came from distances.
My mom ran into a string of bad luck after my dad died and ended up having a ton of bills so she couldn't pay for his burial. I volunteered to pay and I made the arrangements because she couldn't. I took her down there to bury his cremains and it hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw the tombstone. My dad was really dead and I was never ever going to see him again. I don't know why the tombstone hit me harder than anything else but it did. It made it so real. And my dad is buried next to his father who died at age 32 when my dad was just a year old. I was sad to lose my dad, but it was almost harder to see my grandfather's tombstone and realize he didn't get to see his kids grow up, he didn't get to see his grandkids, he didn't get to do any of those things. At least my dad had a long life.
The last three weeks have been hell. I've been bitchy and upset about the least little thing. I take minor things and blow them totally out of proportion. I cry myself to sleep most nights and when I'm not crying I just can't sleep. My boss told me today that everyone is wondering "what's wrong with Lori." and to top it off I have a job that requires me to be "on" almost all the time and I feel like I'm in a spotlight and that everyone is watching everything I do and that I have to be there for everyone else. And I feel like I'm dying inside. I hurt so bad and I feel so guilty that I wasn't there for my dad and I haven't called my mom because I can't be there for her. I can't add her pain to mine right now.
Thank you all for listening. I apologize that this was such a long post.
Lori,you are not alone.I'm very sorry for your loss.I also lost my dad on August 17,2008.
Everything happens the way it does for a reason.
I know you're feeling gulity about not being there,but if it was meant for you to be,it would have been -at least that's my belief.
If you think of it that way it might help.
I was there with my dad when he passed,and I still feel guilty for different things.Like wishing I could've done something more,looked for more options,feeling like we just gave up and went with hospice....etc..
I guess we'll always look back and want to change something or wonder what if.
But I know in my heart that the decisions I/we made at the time were the right ones and in my dad's best interest.
I see different commercials for cancer centers saying to have hope no matter what diagnosis you've been given and so on....but in my dad's case,he was already dying.
I didn't want him subjected to tests,poking,being uncomfortable and sick and to have suffered just to be here for a month or 2 more when he already couldn't do any of things he enjoyed anymore.It just wouldn't have been right.
We kept him as comfortable as possible for those 3 months and he loved his orange creamsicles.:-)
You did so much by helping out your mom and making the arrangements and being strong for everyone.You dad knows that and he loves you for it.
Try to think of all you did and not about what you wish could have done.
Everyone grieves differently and for different periods of time.