Saturday, March 7, 2020

Year 2

It's been awhile and I am feeling like writing again. It's been a tough year and an emotional one.

Year 2 without dad is coming to a close and it still feels just as raw as April 20th, 2018. I keep waiting for the grief to subside, to be able to smile when I think of dad, but everything still feels like knives to the heart. Year 2 was as brutal as everyone says it would be. Dad went into Arlington in May and that gave everything such a sense of finality. He isn't coming back. I have to repeat that to myself because I keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare, but this is real. This is real life. He is gone and that void is more vast than I ever thought it could be. I don't think a day hasn't gone by that I haven't cried since he died.

I've finally come to terms with my grief I think - I'm ok with people knowing I'm not over his death and I fully understand I never will be. If people think I talk about him too much, well tough shit, I need to talk about him. I need them to know how amazing he was. If I seem fixated on death, I am. It's completely understandable. Watching someone die of cancer is horrific. I WATCHED HIM DIE. That is something my mind is still coming to terms with. Year 2 has been plagued with nightmares of watching him die again and it feels so real that I wake up in tears. That's ok though because sometimes I have dreams he is still here and those are the best because the joy I feel is amazing. In those dreams I can feel myself smiling. It's been hard to feel true joy the past few years and I love those dreams for it.

I don't want to be all doom and gloom, so I want end (yeah it's a short one) with some positives.

1. I'm pretty sure that I have changed for the better. I am more compassionate now. I feel like I try to understand all points of view more so than I used too.

2. I don't sweat the small stuff as much. Life is short people. Cliche, but true. Get out there and enjoy each day,

3. I'm fairly certain my focus on my grief has helped my bipolar symptoms. Why? Because this is something bigger than myself. I've been so distracted by grief as weird as that sounds. That said, maybe it's because I have been hyper aware and been really good at self care the last few years.

Thanks for listening to my random rant. I'm absolutely certain that people can relate and think we need to talk about death and dying more as a society. It is so hard to pretend like everything is ok every day and I think it was silly I only had 3 weeks away from work to grieve my father (and then got dumped on with an overwhelming amount of work that continued through this past fall - I legit almost quit my job. It was extremely frustrating because I felt so isolated and felt I wasn't being heard when I brought up the issue). I can't just bury my dad in June and come back to work like normal. People seem to assume that because it was over a year after he died that I could just return to my normal workload. No. Not the case. I was wreck and that was rough. I needed time to process and I was smothered and conflicted with trying to be "fine." The point is that we need to talk about this more and we need to realize that we aren't robots. Take care of yourselves my lovely friends!