Is seventeen days a long time? Or the blink of an eye?
Should I be well on my way to getting back to normal or should I still be waist-deep in grief? Is there a middle road for mourning?
One thing I did find out: the grief process is not linear. It does not progress in an orderly, predictable fashion. It is messy and capricious and well, cruel. One day I get through only crying once upon awakening. The next day, it starts the same way, but the crying continues all day. Sometimes I don’t even know why I’m crying. Then I remember.
And sometimes when I have a series of consecutive hours during which I don’t think of Dad because I am so freaking busy at work, I feel ashamed and guilty. I don’t want to laugh, or smile, or feel happy. I know it’s not rational to think that if I hold on to the grief, I’ll hold on to Dad, but that seems to be what my subconscious wants to do.
There’s no book for this! No instructions! It’s not fair!
Little Susie wants her dad back. She wants to feel his hugs and hear his voice and smell his stinky cigar. She misses his love.
Susan the adult knows she has a daily life to resume and family needs to attend to. She knows she will always carry Dad in her heart wherever she goes, and she is filled with comfort and consoled by her wonderful memories of Dad.
I know millions of people go through this and come out okay. And I know I will someday too. I just want to have Dad back in my life. And to be happy again.
But I know I can’t have both.
I know I can’t rush this. And I can’t wallow in it. All I can really do is get through it. I keep a little bubble around me to protect my fragile body and soul. It’s getting a little bigger. It incorporates my home, my family, and now some of my work. I am thankful for comfort, but I warn people that I don’t want to talk about it or I will cry. They seem to understand.
I think of Dad when I see patients at work. How he used to get so angry when the nurse took out his IV, how grateful I am he didn’t have a lingering illness, how I don’t have to think about putting him in a nursing home, how he won’t have to suffer like many people I see at the hospital. I am so happy he had a peaceful death. At home, in his bed. Not in the hospital, violently.
I know I will see him again someday. I just wish he didn’t have to go.
Sorry about the venting. But it helps me. Thanks.