Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The truth is I’m lying if I tell you I’m ok, because I’m not. When my father died it changed me. I found myself wondering what I would do next. I already had a life, but somehow things were different now. No parents. Becoming an orphan at any age leaves you feeling…what…I’m not sure…but something…just different.

Grieving is a tunnel you fall into to. On the very surface is the immediate loss, the thing that you tripped on, your last moment of pain. But the walls are lined with every loss before that. To crawl your way back out, you need to revisit each loss again. They have somehow merged into one. You need to pass through them and say goodbye again. To mom, to lost loves, to lost friendships, to pieces of myself that I gave up. Some are easier to say goodbye to again, some still sting, some you really didn’t want to revisit. It is a cleansing in spite of the pain of remembering.

Before dad died, he looked at my sister and I and said…"I’ll never forget this, girls”…and it made me smile and cry at the same time. Where would he carry that memory, I thought. Would it survive the journey to where he was going? Would he find mom and tell her “the girls took good care me”? He had the sweetest smile on his face when he said it. I’ll never forget that smile. He looked like a little boy. He looked happy, content, most importantly, he looked comfortable. He wanted to look out into his yard so we would sit him in the wheelchair with his feet up on the couch so he could look out. The TV became too confusing to him. He didn’t know where he was. He would look at the TV and ask us what room he was in, he thought he was in the room that he was seeing on the screen. we would tell him it was just the TV, but then he would ask who that man was in the room. We kept telling him he was home, but he seemed to not really believe us.

Dad changed as he got older, he was still his grumpy old self, still funny as hell, but he became softer for sure. He told us all the time that he loved us. I still called him frequently to ask his opinion, get his advice. I always thought he was so smart. Just like every kid that thinks their dad knows everything. That never went away for me. There were just certain things that only dad would know. Sometimes I would ask him things just to make him feel like I still needed him, other times I needed him for real, even more often I would tell him things just to hear him laugh, or to have him make me laugh, or just to hear his concern. I needed that too. I still want to pick up the phone and tell him stuff. I miss that.

I miss you dad.