Life sometimes catches you completely unawares.
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have been really struggling with the loss of my dad. I just have found that getting back up and moving forward with my life with his loss compounded with health issues has been a serious battle. I really don’t know how to put into words what I’m experiencing other than to say it feels like I’ve fallen into a tailspin. Things are spiraling around me so fast I feel like I have no control and I feel very powerless to pull myself back up out of it.
But I have taken some action. After my dad’s surgery when he went into the huge depression that he did he saw a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan who did a lot for not just him but for my mom as well. After my dad passed she called my mom personally to offer her condolences and told her that she would gladly see both my mom and myself if we needed it. I’ve reached the point where I need it. So I got everything arranged and on the 23rd I have an appointment with her. It is true I could see someone a little closer to home but there is a definite appeal to seeing someone who knows a bit more of the situation and without having to rehash all of it.
I am finding now that the first drowning wave of grief has passed that now it is the little things that are catching me unawares. Since his passing I’ve had a picture of him and the Little Man on my phone. It helps me see him every day and remind me that he is still with me but it has also desensitized me somewhat to seeing his picture and getting hit with the ache every time. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly days that I see it when it hits me in the gut but it doesn’t happen as much.
But there are still things that do. Like when I was cleaning up and found the birthday card my parents had given me for my last birthday. Usually my mom would just sign the cards but this one they both wrote in. So it hit me hard to see his handwriting again. I had just been thinking to myself and wondering if I had anything written by him anywhere and I found that.
Then there was the day my mom decided to mess around with my dad’s phone and called me. I knew it was my mom but when the screen of my phone little up saying Dad was calling my heart jumped a little. Its absurd but in that half a second, I thought maybe it was him.
There’s the snow storm that just hit that remind me of how when I lived at home my dad would always warm up mine and my mom’s cars and clean the snow or frost off them. So as I fought with getting my car cleared off I broke down a little thinking of this small gesture he would make.
Even though its not my birthday yet, I wonder who is going to call me now first thing in the morning to wish me happy birthday. He was always the first to call. Sometimes even before I had woken up. He always wanted to be the first person to wish me happy birthday.
And just yesterday I finished listening to a really good audiobook and I thought, this was great, I have to tell Dad about it. And then it hit me that Dad’s not here to tell about it. And the grief hit again.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone and that is true in so many ways. Even though I knew how wonderful my dad was both as a man and as a father. And even though I knew I had something special. I didn’t realize just how precious it was to me until I didn’t have it anymore.
But here’s the part that really gets to me. My life feels so fractured and like such a mess right now. I’m struggling from day to day. I really feel like I don’t have it together at all. And all of that makes me feel like I’ve failed him. This is, of course, all me putting this on myself, but I really fear that my dad died being disappointed in me. That he died and I had failed to be the person he raised me to be. And that is the part of the grief that I am having the hardest time getting over. Because the one thing in my life I always strove to do was to make my dad proud of me.