In the past year, a lot has happened to me. All the small things seem insignificant compared to the loss of my beloved father. As the year mark of his passing approaches, I wanted to document a few of my thoughts and feelings. Going through the grief process is incredibly wild - exhausting, frustrating, uplifting, and blessed all rolled into one. While my intention for this blog is to remain generally lighthearted, I think it is important to not only document these life changes, but also to help others going through the same thing. No one grieves in the same way, but maybe something I've experienced can help you.
If you're wanting something less serious, skip this post. As I write more entries about grief, you will be able to locate them at the top under "Non-Mommy Gets Serious."
(Taken from my personal diary, March 2010)
You know, twelve days ago my whole world turned upside down. Twelve days ago, I became fatherless, and my mother, who has always had my father in her life, became a widow.
I went on autopilot. My head was very unclear. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't stop worrying about if my dad knew that I loved him enough. I couldn't stop sleeping. And then the strangest thing has happened.
I'm going to be ok. I have peace right now.
Don't get me wrong. I know that this is still very early. I know this will never be easy. I know things may get more tough. But right now, I have a peace that is very comforting. It helps that I have this week off and can just rest. I'm so thankful for this time to rest and recharge. The day of the funeral, I was washing my hair, and I could hear my grandpa's voice saying "You're a Farfenugenleiderhosen [not my family's real name, but close haha]. Buck up." So very German and Finnish of him. And then a friend told me that we were built to carry on, and we do. I needed to be reminded of that.
I also have the comfort of my faith, and knowing that in retrospect, this all happened in ways that only God could have ordained. There are so, so many things to be thankful for. You know, since September my health has gone to total crap. I passed out at school and had to go through lots of tests. And stay with my parents. I got Swine Flu, pneumonia and bronchitis. And my dad came to stay with me. I had to have an emergency appendectomy. And had to stay with my parents. How lucky am I that even through all these horrible life crappy events I was able to be with my dad?
I talked to my dad almost daily on the phone.
The weekend before he died I spent the weekend with him and we laughed and had a great time.
I had just eaten lunch with him two days before.
The last thing I told him ever was that I loved him.
He recently drove through my town and left me a note in my mailbox that said "Missed You. Love, Dad."
Two days before he died, my sister and I both had thoughts that he was going to die. I dreamed he would die in his hotel room and no one would know. My dad left his hotel room and then died. He didn't die while driving, thank God.
He died in a place far away so that now my mother never has to drive by where he died and relive that.
He never knew what happened. One minute he was eating a contraband bagel and the next, hello Jesus!
I was able to watch his body stop fighting, and as sad as that was, I'm so very thankful to have had that experience.
I have been absolutely surrounded with love and support.
There is so very much to be thankful for. Even more than this. I'm still worried about my mother, and her finances. I'm still unsure what to do about my job situation. But I know that I can take it one step at a time, and everything will be ok. In the next few days, many things need to be accomplished: my parents' taxes need to be done, we need to sell his motorcycle, sell a car, and a whole workshop full of tools and saws that I don't even know the names of. But I also have the luxury of being able to snuggle with a little blonde nephew whenever I need to, and to go to bed whenever I need to. I don't have to think about my job. I don't have to do much of anything. My dad is in a better place, and he would want me to carry on.
We were built to carry on, and we do.