Dealing with My GriefbyAzuldrgon©
It had been a few months since I had written anything substantial for anything besides work. I wrote an article for the newsletter about death planning and such.but it had been a long time since I wrote anything for the places I usually write for. This was due to a few reasons.greatest of which was the loss of my father. Normally...you hear about how death is one of only two certain things in real life. This is true...but death also is difficult to face when you haven't dealt with it before.
My first exposure to death was at the age of seven when my dad's mom passed. I didn't grieve because I only had one or two memories of her. However...I also didn't see my father grieve. He was too proud to let his kids see him grieve even though he loved his mother dearly. Thus an opportunity to share a life experience passed.
When my mom's mother passed years later...again I could not grieve because I couldn't understand. My memories with her were more vivid...yet death wasn't explained to me. I had a hard time with the concept that Grandma was gone. Thus I don't remember crying. I don't remember anything. I didn't go to the funeral.
It wasn't until years later that I had a chance to go to a funeral. I served on Color Guard duty for my unit. We trained on how to hold the casket and how to fire the salute. I never got the chance to do it however. Later on that year...I left the military. I still had no concept of death...the finality of it or otherwise.
A few years later...my soon-to-be-spouse was on the phone when I told her that my mother told me her step father had passed. Again I found myself in a position where I couldn't cry. My fiancée offered to cry for me because she couldn't understand why I couldn't cry. Again...I didn't go to a funeral or anything.
It would be years later that I would go to my first funeral for a man I had a vague knowledge of. I went to support while others cried. I couldn't cry for someone I didn't know. So it seemed my purpose for death was easy to figure out. I was to support others while they cried. It was something I could do.
A year after that...it was my wife's turn. Her grandmother passed. I stayed home while she went to the funeral so I could watch our kids. I was there when my wife cried. I held her tightly and stayed there for her when her grandfather followed months later. Then her cousin passed and I was still there holding her. The next death was a year later when her uncle passed. I got to see him before he passed in the nursing home and we shared a few laughs.
For a while...Death stayed away. Perhaps he felt like there was no way to get to me. Maybe it was because I knew that if someone died...I would be support. I found my purpose and was content.
On September 21st...Death finally caught me. A few days prior.my father fell off a ladder where he was fixing the roof and broke a bunch of ribs. Two days later...he passed. I was stunned. For the first time...I sought support. I needed the rock this time. I was clueless. There were times I wanted to scream. I took the next day off work...but went stir crazy at home because I couldn't stop thinking and wondering. I went to my second job that night where they called me crazy until I told them to back off and I needed to work.
The next day at my main job...my boss told me I could stay home. I declined because I told him I needed to work. He knew my mind was made up. I worked regular that week and the week after. I didn't go to the funeral because I couldn't afford to get over to the other side of the country. My siblings went and paid their respects as he was cremated.
Over the next couple months...I discovered my writing process was hampered. I couldn't write anything under the heading of my screen name anymore. My well dried up. Whenever I had the urge to try to create....I was stuck. It made Writer's Block look like a pebble in its wake. During the work day...I could sense my dad in my head. I started feeling mannerisms creeping in making me seem like someone else and not myself. I would cry for no reason or try to cry and simply stop. My crying would come when I was mentally drained or physically out of it.
My spouse tried to comfort me. So has my oldest daughter. Their comfort seemed piddly and I started wondering if my comfort during their time of grieving was equally as insignificant. My doubts began to cloud my judgment and I started to second guess myself. Death had me reeling.
This is when I read an article I wrote. In it I wrote about how confidence is the best turn on and how we should be proud of what we have. It was then I thought about what I had. Unlike my siblings...I couldn't get drunk and forget. I couldn't fight it out or use violence either. I could however write.
I found a few poems I wrote detailing my anguish and reread them. It reminded me that I am human and subject to human emotions as well as their limitations. My friends both online and off line started wanting to talk to me and help me remember that I had the right to cry. I had the right to allow myself moments of weakness. I started pulling back on my jobs a bit to give myself less times of physical draining so I could manage it better.
Has it helped? It had somewhat. Grieving as a really sweet friend told me is a constant although it lessens over time. I stopped looking for the quick dump and have become content with the slower decline. I know in my heart that my father is physically not of this world anymore. Yet I do know that his spirit still resides partially in me and that it's okay to think of him regardless of the outcome. I miss him a ton. Yet I also know I have a duty to his grandchildren to take care of them.
In the summer...I'm returning to where he passed for closure. There will be drama. After all.there is still family stuff to contend with. I look forward though to what the future brings because I know each day brings me one day more to enjoy what time I have left. I in the mean time am thankful to my family here and my friends. They have shown me how important support is.
Is this the best way to deal with grief? I doubt it. However it's the path I choose to follow for now.