My father died on 11.22.07...Thanksgiving day.
He and I had not been close since I was about 13 because of the games that my parents played with each other during their divorce. My sister and I were the ones who suffered for it. I had been my daddy's little girl and the loss that I felt then, never left me. I carry it with me like a weight. So when he died, I was already grieving for him, even though he had been alive.
For 17 years I grieved for a living man.
Two things bring me to a place where I feel the need to write about this now. First, a friend sent me to a blog that was stories from an Ambulance Driver and his experiences with death. The other was a very good friend who very recently lost her brother asking me how I was dealing with the loss of my father.
The first thing was a reminder of how quickly things change. One minute you are going happily along thinking that there is always time "later", the next your looking down at your parent's ashes wondering how you went so wrong. I will never get to have him back. I will never get to thank him for all of the wonderful things that he taught me, the things that made me who I am today. I will never get to tell him that I understood, and I'm sorry...that I love him. There is no later. There is only now.
This is a good thing to remember no matter what is going on in your life. Now is all we have, not forever, or yesterday. All we have to work with is now.
My friend's question made me realize that I haven't, for the most part, been dealing with my father's death at all. Mostly I've been pretending that, someday, I'm going to turn a corner and there he will be, with open arms ready to work on the relationship that I always wanted but never could have. I didn't see him die. I never saw his body. The only "proof" I had of his death is what other people have told me. I'm not a trusting person by nature, but it seems that I have taken this lack of trust to a whole new level with the death of my father...I just can't believe it.
I know that this is one of the stages of grief, but some how I want to deny that I am even grieving. I don't feel strong enough to feel this pain and survive it as a whole person.
I'm not sure where all of this leads to, or what it all means in my life. But I wanted to write it all down while I was thinking about it so later I could look back on it and get what I could from it.