Most everyone knows now my dad passed away Friday. He was 74 years old… and if he had taken care of himself we should have had a few more years with him. I started to fear my dads death about 20 years ago when he told me he wouldn’t live to see 60. Every time he went into the hospital I was afraid it would be his last time. I’m actually still in that funny denial stage that he is gone. Which brings me tot he point of this post…
My dad entered hospice the week he died, I mean.. he was there a day and a half before he passed on. These people are like saints on earth as far as I am concerned, they took away a big burden I had, and that burden was letting him go. I was so terrified he would be alone when he went, even worse he would die at home and my mother and sister ( my mother has dementia, my sister is mentally challenged) would find him that it was hard for me to be at peace about him passing. Admitting him into hospice made it easier for him to realize it was okay to go… or at least I hope it did. In the end my father was alone in his room when he finally passed on, and I realize now that’s what he would have wanted… to not see us in pain waiting with him, watching that last breath.
The hospice sent me a note today, and a booklet about dealing with grief, as I read it this afternoon it became very clear how much these words hit home, and that I was meant to read them but as I read on a nagging feeling hit that these few pages should say more. So if you don’t mind, I am gonna take a few minutes to add-on to the advice this book gave me.
The first line that hit me funny… beware of developing unrealistic expectations of yourself. Don’t let others put them on you either…. okay wow…. guilty as charged. I am horrible about accepting help with anything, maybe it’s because of how many times I have been burned by those who want to “help”. I have heard the phrase ” you aren’t alone” way too many times this last week. At times it makes me wanna lash out violently at the person delivering the statement. Especially when I know they have no clue whats going on in my head and heart right now. I get it… they want to help. But that phrase, you aren’t alone in this, when what you feel is alone because the one person you want is gone, doesn’t help.
That brings me to phrase two… “if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.” I have come up with a new answer to this one.. stop asking me what you can do to help, and if you sincerely want to help, pick something and do it. Helping to me means doing it before I even realize it has to be done, because when I realize it has to be done, it’s too late, I’ve done it. I don’t like sounding so snippy with this piece of advice. But on my good days decisions aren’t easy for me, so asking me to decide when I am in emotional shock isn’t going to be any easier. If you know anyone else like this you might try sending a gift card for a grocery store, or pizza place. I appreciate every offer made to me, but honestly, I have no idea how to answer the question… what do you need help with. One of the biggest helps I have had this last week was an acquaintance who had lost her father, when I told her what I was feeling, she simply did what I was needing right then… confirmed I wasnt going crazy.
Another big one for me…I’m gonna cry and I am gonna lash out, and I’ve been told this is okay.
The councilor at my daughters school was very close to meeting her untimely end on Tuesday when she said a few things that enraged me. In normal times I would swallow it and blow later, but this time I physically showed signs of wanting to jump the desk and get her ! So that being said, let me apologize in advance to any of you I snap at in the next few weeks.
The final thing I wanted to add to this tonight… the book says when people ask how you feel, don’t tell them you are fine. I laughed at this, thinking I’m fine… fine like Sally Fields character from Steel Magnolias when she lost her daughter…
Okay, Im not fine. I lost my daddy. I don’t care what age you are, how close you were in life, or what the circumstances of the passing is… it hurts… worse than anything I have EVER experienced. I know he was sick, and I know he is at peace now, but I want him here; because regardless of how stressful he made my life, he was my daddy… and I miss my daddy.