Navigating stormy, unfamiliar waters

I’ve been blessed in my life because I’ve never lost anyone close to me. I wasn’t aware just how special that was until my Dad died, you know.

I get angry at God – my first experience losing someone in my life and it couldn’t be an old high school buddy, Lord? It couldn’t be someone I once played Netball with or worked with years ago – you had to teach me about grief by taking my Dad away? Really?

So these are unchartered waters for me.

What I’m learning is that grieving the loss of a parent is different for everyone. The only thing we all seem to have in common is the PAIN. AB wrote to me about losing his Mom a few months back. Mrs B was very unwell for a very long time so AB had to experience seeing his Mom ill and in pain for months before she died. AB said he had 10 hours of numbing disbelief and then a tidal wave of tears that hit him like a truck. Megan lost her Mom to cancer. For her, she cried for 3 weeks, didn’t go to work or see anyone and she was very vocal and loud about her pain. I like that she didn’t try to hold it all in. People cry a lot, rage and shout, feel angry and lost…but in different stages and different ways for different lengths of time.

So I feel like there’s no “how to” instruction manual on this.

I don’t know what to do with the pain of losing my Dad.

I haven’t cried nearly as much as I thought I would.

I write to you that I’m angry but I’ve been truly ANGRY in the past and this is nothing like it…this is more a disbelief…not really raging, more profoundly confused. How was my Dad there one day and gone – dead and cremated – all within the same day the next time I heard about him? HOW is that possible?

For me, Dad died on a Friday. I didn’t go into work that day. I felt the sudden loss of my Dad like a freight train had hit me. HARD. Shocking. PAINFUL.

I took the next week off, wandering around the house in my pj’s…softly touching things, picking things up, not knowing why and putting them down again. Alun cried for 3 days and nights straight. I held him and my heart broke for the pain my beloved husband was in.

I went back into work the following Monday. On half days. I focused all my energy on 2 things:

  1. Keeping myself together. “Don’t fall apart, JD – keep it all inside”
  2. Glaring at the time in the corner of the computer screen and exhaling when it switched mercifully to 1:30pm and I could drop the pretense and go home and be as broken and devastated as I wanted to be. No one would be watching. It was such a relief to be able to grieve as I wanted to.

Today it’s Monday again and here I am in work…keeping it together.

Only I feel the grief more keenly this week than in the past few weeks. I honestly feel as if an important, LARGE limb has been torn off me and I need to know adjust to moving my entire body without it.

Honestly guys? I want to go home.

I feel ONE FUCKING WEEK WAS NOT NEARLY LONG ENOUGH to be home amongst the things I love and find comfort in so that I could grieve freely without the pressures of a job. The friends who worried that I was returning to work ‘too soon’ are now the same ones saying “suck it up, Janet” now that I want another week off. Oh how quickly they turned on me. It hurts so much.

I feel so alone in this grief.

I feel like I’m in a tiny wooden boat in the middle of a huge storm with 30 foot waves rising and crashing. I’m struggling. I’m scared and I don’t know what to do and everyone is advising me to “suck it up”…suck WHAT up? These waves that are as big as skyscrapers? HOW???

My Dad is gone. I will NEVER see his friendly face and twinkling blue eyes again.

How am I supposed to have recovered from that huge loss in just a week?

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