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howdy stranger! (grief and ending my MIA status)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hi There,
It's been 4 months since I've been on SP; by far the longest break in my 5 years here.

There is a lot I would love to tell you (that isn't true), but I'm not going to write it all, because I think writing about what I haven't been able to do would be self defeating. Self defeating has become my specialty! But not tonight.

So I am going to try to tell you briefly about my months with compassion toward myself and leave judgment at bay. Not easy.

These months have easily been the hardest of my life. And the past 6 years were (in many ways) incredibly difficult, so that's saying something!
I was able to accompany my Dad through the last days, months, and years of his life. I got to be close to him regularly (they lived with us a bunch of that time). I got to care for him and my Mom in ways that meant so much to me and them. I got to share this poignant burden of grace with my spouse, who amazed me with her generosity and presence. I chose, time and time again, to care for them in ways that stretched me immensely. It hurt so badly so often. It brought on anger and fear and shame; it unearthed childhood issues I'd thought were long gone. It made me know, appreciate, (and honestly at times hate) my parents in new ways.
It was a blessed time.
He died May 6th. In most ways it was a good death. He decided to stop treatment. He went home on Friday and got to spend the next day and a half of alertness with his family, grandkids, and dogs all around him, watching his birds outside. He died early Monday morning. It was not a Hollywood death. There was fear and anxiety and pain. It undoes me to think about it.

I am getting along OK--what has felt like a huge gaping wound may feel a little smaller now. I am trying to honor my grief and not compare it to what I perceived others' experiences with grief to be. I know that it is harder than I thought it would be.

I did a lot right, and I wouldn't trade any of it. There are costs, though. I have struggled a bit with depression. My motivation has been very low, but improving. I have had to stop doing a lot in my life because my family, and now my grief, occupy a lot of my energy.
WIth all of that I have gained 28 pounds back. Exercise feels like a burden, and it feels so hard. Tracking is non existent to me. I have just started to care and pay attention (minimally) to what I am eating and drinking again.

The good news is, I have hope. I expect at this point that things will just get better, not worse. They've been getting worse for so long. But I feel a promise now.

And I'm trying to see this not as a redo or even as a new beginning or a recycled new attempt. I am trying to see it as just new. I am a different person, certainly, than I was 5 years ago when I started this. I am a different person than I was 5 months ago. I am a person who desires to know the confident, fit me again.

And I believe I will.

I make no promises about presence here on SP or tracking. This is one day at a time, for real. I think what has kept me so long is the knowledge that I couldn't be a consistent presence here. I don't know if I can now, but I wanted to at least write this blog, tell you where I've been, and tell you where I am.

Before I wrote this, I read so many blogs, and am reminded of how wonderful this site is. So much support and understanding!

I've missed it, and am glad that it is still here!


ps: here's me and my dad early this year, before the last time he went into the hospital :)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm so sorry I missed this important time for you. I just saw your new blog and decided I had to go back. Many prayers of encouragement your way. That's a beautiful picture of you and your dad.
    1624 days ago
    Welcome back to SP and the LC. I lost my dad almost 4 years ago, and his was also not a Hollywood death. It's a shocking experience, at least it was for me, even when you know it's coming. My condolences to you. I'm glad you're being gentle with yourself.
    1707 days ago
    Sweetie, I am so sorry for your loss!

    I lost my Dad 10 years ago and I miss him so much. You were with him in the end and I am sure that meant so much to him also.

    I am glad you logged on and "talked" to us about it, we are definitely here for you. And yes, it's one day at a time!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1707 days ago
    I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Grief of a loved one is such a deep and complicated process - you should never compare it to anyone else's grieving. This blog had me in tears, as I am dealing with the loss of my best friend (it's been 9 months, but still feels very fresh and raw). Thank you so much for sharing your story. And welcome back to Spark! The support here is incredible.
    1707 days ago
    Re-connecting with your father as you did must have been such an absolutely priceless experience! I'm sure there must have been and still are a zillion emotions covering the spectrum all roiling about inside. I continue to wonder how it will be for me when my parents die. Thankfully they continue to enjoy relatively good health. My father will turn 80 this year. I live over 700 miles away...ugh!

    You are SO doing the right thing to take your time with your grief and pull this experience within you in the best possible way.

    Our hearts and thoughts will be with you every step of the way...

    1708 days ago
    Welcome back. Thanks for sharing. It's real life, the care of each other and such important work. This is a quote I heard this week.

    “Let everything happen to you
    Beauty and terror
    Just keep going
    No feeling is final”

    ― Rainer Maria Rilke

    Best, Rachel
    1708 days ago
  • 3G1RLS4ME
    Welcome back hugs sorry for the loss of your father it looks like a calming portrait of u two
    1708 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1708 days ago
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