This is really hard.
Losing a parent is something I didn’t think I’d have to deal with until I was a much older adult, probably with kids of my own. I’ve always dreaded that talk with my child about death and dying – how do you explain that concept to someone so young?
I lost my maternal grandfather when I was 13. His death was a surprise to everyone – a heart attack took him very quickly even after a pacemaker was added a few years before his death. We thought we had plenty of time left.
My father’s death was very similar, now that I look back on it. He was much younger than my grandfather, obviously, but his death came a few years after an intervention to prevent a heart attack.
When I was at home dealing with the family and the estate and all of those little things (like hiring someone to clean the pool so mom won’t have to do that because that’s something Dad used to do for the house), the days flew by. Of course I cried when I first heard the news and again on the plane and the wake and funeral. The first week was hard – I couldn’t imagine something harder.
But then I got home. I was thrust into a crazy work environment with a major event in just five business days. Most of the work was done but as an event coordinator, it’s my job to make sure all details are taken care of – so it was a busy week last week in the office. I didn’t think of things for a few days because of work.
Then on the way home from seeing a play on Friday night, I hit the wall. After I got in the car, I simply started sobbing like a baby. I’m not sure what exactly set me off – other than I was about to pick up the phone to tell my dad how much he would have liked the show.
That’s the first time I was in my every day life and realized that my father wasn’t going to be there for me to pick up the phone and call anymore. So I cried. A lot. For the entire twenty-minute drive home.
When Husband called to me as I walked in the door and asked me how I was, I burst in to tears again and found him in the den. I climbed into his lap, put my head on his shoulder and sobbed. I told him why I was crying and how much I just wanted to hear my daddy’s voice again.
My boss had asked me earlier in the day if anything weird has happened since his death – you know, feeling his presence or anything like that. She told me a story of her dad’s death and I realized that in two weeks, I haven’t had any experience like that. And when I really thought about it, THAT made me sad. Even though I don’t quite believe in it, I wondered why I hadn’t felt him around me in that way.
It was cathartic to have a nice long cry again, but now the shock is beginning to wear off and the physical ache of knowing my father is gone is starting to set in. I hope it gives way to the good memories soon – because this part is so not fun.