The past several months you may have noticed the activity on my page slowed down. This has been a very rough year for me. I am going to share with you a very sad, personal event that happened to me this year. I will share my story and how I have coped.
On February 17th my dad called me to chit chat. He would call me every week and the time of day didn’t matter. He knew I was a night owl so I would often get calls at 2 or 3 am. We talked for about an hour and ended it with an ” I love you” as we always did. It was a great conversation and one I will never forget.
On February 19th the phone rang around 6 am. No one calls me at this time! Jeff and I were laying in bed sleeping, he answers the phone and right away I can tell something is wrong. As soon as I hear the word dad and hospital I am out of bed getting dressed and grabbing my car keys. Jeff gets off the phone and tries to calm me down and slow me down. I was in a panic. (This is all kinda blurry to me and can’t remember exactly how it all happened) All I know is that I had to get to the hospital. My dad NEVER goes to the hospital so I knew it was something serious. I felt it with everything in me. Sometime during my rush of heading out the door, we get another phone call. Jeff answers and I just look at him and I knew… Jeff drops the phone and catches me in his arms. I cry hysterically for a good 10 minutes before I gather myself enough to go to the hospital. I lost my dad.
At the hospital, I went in to see him with Jeff at my side. It was a really tough decision, but I’m glad I had. I wanted to stare at him forever. I wanted to implant his face into my memory. Every single detail. It was there we learned he passed away at work from a massive heart attack. He didn’t even clock in yet. I found out he didn’t go to work the day before and was considering going to the hospital. He never did. He was only 54 and didn’t have any heart problems. He was in good health. His loss is a total shock to me and everyone that knew him.
After the hospital, the family gets together to discuss the funeral, etc. All I wanted to do was go home and take a sleeping pill and forget everything. I didn’t want this to be happening. I just wanted to be alone. I wanted to scream and cry. I wanted to fall apart. I couldn’t do that because I had to think of my daughter. She just lost her grandpa. I wanted to be strong for her, be there for her. I tried so hard! It’s so hard in a situation like this to know what is best for your child. I found myself questioning everything I was saying and doing for months afterward. She was so strong and she is only 10 years old. I became worried about her because she wasn’t talking about him and she hadn’t really released. So I called the school and talked to the school counselor. I set it up for them to speak with her. I felt she wasn’t talking to me because she didn’t want to see me cry, she didn’t want to see me hurt. That ended up being the case. She was able to release to the school counselor and came home and asked if we could put together a Box of Memories. We crafted a box and filled it with pictures and memories, for her. She has her Very own memory box for her grandpa. I started putting together a scrapbook.
The next day my brother and I go over to clear his place out. This was VERY hard. If I had the chance I would have skipped out on this one. But I felt it was my obligation and I couldn’t leave it all up to my brother. I didn’t want him to deal with it alone. I fell apart a lot that day.
His service was huge, as he was known and loved by the whole town. It was hard getting through it all. I didn’t think anyone could cry so much and for so long. I found myself questioning my reactions and actions. I was falling apart so often and everyone around me seemed much calmer. I felt like a basket case, an emotional wreck. I tried to stay strong and to hold my emotions back. I wasn’t able to fully release my emotions and built up anxieties. I felt like I was going to explode. Every time I would start to tear up I would stop myself.
For Several months after he passed, I was completely numb. I struggled to get the Pet Promotion done on my blog, I had to push it back a couple months. I felt pressured by the sponsors, even though they all told me to take my time. I felt bad that I wasn’t fulfilling my commitment when I said I would so I struggled through the process. The outcome was nice, but it could have been much better if I would have been able to concentrate more. Once I completed that promotion, I stepped away for awhile. I started playing Facebook games all day and night, drowning out life. Not dealing with my pain, my loss. I wanted to act like dad wasn’t gone. I kept imaging him at his house sitting at his table or in his chair watching a movie. I fell apart a lot. I wasn’t able to look at his pictures for awhile afterward without falling apart. When I would start to fall apart I would go to Jeff and he would hold me and calm me down. He has been a great support, I love him tremendously for that and for his patience.
I was having problems letting go. One day I realized what I was doing to myself. I was holding everything in and realized I was completely numb. I had to do something. I went to his house and parked in the driveway for awhile and I let it out. I held back some, but I released. It made me realize he is gone and I will never hear his voice again, I will never see him sit at that table again, I will never get another phone call. (I’m tearing up now) It did help going to his place. I’m glad I went alone. I didn’t have anyone to try to calm me, I didn’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed or any other emotion I was feeling. I just thought of him and I cried.
I know lots of people who lose someone looks to God. I am not a believer. I don’t know what I believe, so I wasn’t able to find comfort in any of that. I find myself wondering if my dad CAN hear and see me. Every now and then I blow him a kiss and say, “I love you dad” and I let him know how much I miss him. Just in case he can see and hear me.
This song helps describe how I feel.
It’s been almost 8 months now. I have come to the realization that he is gone. I need to hang onto the memories I have of him. One of my biggest fears is forgetting something about him. When I remember something, I write it down. I miss him terribly and I still fall apart. Grief is a tough thing, you never know when it’s going to hit you. Last month I was at the store and I saw someone that looked similar to my dad and I almost broke down. I wanted to go talk to the stranger. I wanted so bad for that voice to sound like my dads. I wanted to befriend him. I never did go up to him, it would’ve been awkward. I take it a day at a time. I am not near as numb as I was. I am doing more things around the house and with my family now. I haven’t been spending all my time on the computer drowning out life. I have my concentration back and I am jumping right back into blogging. I’m back!!
What I learned from losing my dad is that you need to make memories with those you love. Love them every day, work out conflicts right away. You never know when that loved one will be gone. Take pictures with your loved ones. That way you will always have something physical to hang onto. I’ve learned that I am going to feel however I feel. Grief comes and goes. I’ve learned to accept that. I’m not going to feel bad when I have a breakdown. I’m going to let it out and not hold back anymore. I know everyone grieves differently and there is no wrong or right way. If it takes me 5 years to lose all this numbness, so be it.
End your phone conversations with your loved ones with, “I love you”. If you leave the house be sure to tell your family you love them. I am so glad the last words my dad and I exchanged were, ” I love you”.