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Adjusting to Life Without the Patriarch

Saturday, January 19, 2013

First off, it's not going to be easy. My Dad and I locked horns regularly, but he was the one family member who has always been there for me. Of course, it was usually in those little everyday ways. The biggest one, though, will always be a part of me.

I was 12 years old, and I had literally read every book of interest to me in the children's room at the Portland (Maine) Public Library. I was not allowed to use the adult section until I was 13. For probably 10 months or so, Dad made the commitment to take me to the library every other Monday. He was not a reader, but he would take something to do and sit at a table.

I would wander anywhere I wanted in that vast upper area and browse any books that struck my fancy. As I found what I wanted, I would take some back to Dad and then I was off prowling again! I don't remember that he never rushed me. When I had my selection of books ready, he would check them out on his card. My favorites that year were biographies and historical fiction, but (then and now) I read just about anything except sci-fi, horror, and mindless violence. Only once did my Dad postpone on me, because he was doing a funeral that afternoon. And he made sure we went the very next day. What a "best memory of Dad" to have, because it went on and on and on....

Mostly I feel somewhere between lost and numb. I've slept and slept over the past few days, even though I've not been sleep-deprived. I've walked, finally, a couple of days, but it has felt like such a chore. Even my stretching, which has felt so darned good since I started it with SparkPeople, seems like I'm just going through the motions - and with limbs made of wood. Several days I've been below calories and carbs; I just don't want to eat. Last night I MADE myself get in that last 100 calories or so with fruit for carbs. Then I spent the entire evening feeling almost obscenely full.

So I'm planning to just keep listening to my body. If I don't want to eat, I don't plan to. I've been on target with water, freggies, and protein. That's good enough for now. I THINK I should be missing my longer walks (minimum 3 miles), but I don't. So I'll stick with 1-1/2 miles or so until I really want to add some more. I'll stretch just because, rather than because I want to. And I'll sleep, or veg, as much as I need to right now.

I've been through bouts of depression, and that's not what this feels like. It feels temporary in a way I can't describe, rather than the never-ending black hole of depression. So I'll just feel my way through this fog and find some sunshine on the other side whenever the time is right.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JENNY712
    emoticon So emoticon for your great loss! emoticon Praying for you! emoticon
    1784 days ago
    I am so very sorry that you had to let your Dad go. Grief can be terrible and still heal along the way. You are right to let yourself grief and let your body tell you what you need. Sending you hugs and prayers and lots of love.

    1787 days ago
  • MSGO72
    1787 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Praying for you during this difficult time of transition. My wife experienced this about 15 years ago. Blessings upon you today.
    1787 days ago
    Sorry for your loss.... Dad's are special and we carry them with us in our hearts. May your happy memories of him ease your heartache.
    1787 days ago
    I am so sorry for you loss. I think your plan to listen to your body is the best course. Take care of yourself and heal.

    If you need a lunch out or a coffee, let me know!

    1787 days ago
    I know that the pain of losing a patriarch is hard. I too have terrific memories that involve reading and the library and my daddy brushing my wet hair after a bath. My dad went to be with God a little over a year ago and the only things I can say is that you DO have to listen to YOUR heart, YOUR body, and YOUR timetable for dealing with the loss.
    1787 days ago
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