Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Silent Suffering

I seem to have some unreal expectation of myself that I should be over grieving for my father by now.  It has just been two months since his death.  Two months!  Why on earth should I be beating myself up when I catch myself grieving is a mystery to me.  I certainly would never have that expectation of any one else.  I would more than likely be reinforcing their grief with acknowledgements of how little time has truly passed.  We are so much tougher on ourselves than others would be. 

Truth is I am so sad that I can hardly function.  Every single little thing is a chore for me.  It is my busiest time at work and I swear I don't know how I am managing to get through it.  I am rolled up in self pity like a baby in a swaddling blanket.  I feel incredibly alone.  A few years ago, before my church home became so dysfunctional that I had to leave it behind, the pastor did an exercise during the service where we wrote our greatest fear on a piece if paper then tacked it to a wooden cross.  The point was to give our fear over to God and I loved the symbolism of that exercise.  Until that day, I had never voiced my greatest fear outside of myself, but I bravely wrote the truth on that slip of paper.  My fear is that everyone I love will leave me and that I will truly be alone. 

I realize that a good deal of us share that fear.  I believe it started for me when my parents divorced and a few years later my sister dying soiidified it. Each time a friend moved out of my life, or another loved one passed on, it grew.   Now that both of my parents are gone, the fear seems more palpable than ever before.  I know it is unfounded, i have a loving husband and great friends, but in the quiet times that fear flickers at the edge of my thoughts.  I am working daily at giving that little slip of paper over to God again. I am so glad that I am a believer, for the comfort that brings is medicine to my injured soul. 

Life is tough for all of us.  Losing an parent who was sick from cancer pales in comparison to things I know others are dealing with.  I fight feeling guilty in my selfish grief, but we all have our pain.   From experience, I know that eventually I will become more engaged in my life again and that fear will fade back to the closed vault I keep in my mind.  Time is a healer, that much is true although it never can truly fade the ache of a mourning heart.  In the meantime, I am going through the motions, doing the best I can while silently suffering. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Here We Go

Today is the beginning of the milestones we will mark as life marches on without my dad.  Tonight we would have been dining together and celebrating his 80th birthday, probably at the Catfish House or O'Charleys or Cheddars.  He loved them all.  Instead of celebrating his birth today, I am intensely aware of my personal loss.  There will be no more birthday celebrations for my dad, just as there will be no more birthday cards for me from him with a crisp $50.00 bill inside.  I miss him so much today.  I've been watching the calendar for weeks, this day creeping closer and closer, just as Thanksgiving and Christmas are lurking in the future.  There is no joy in the anticipation of the holidays this year.  Only a heaviness. 

I am going to slap the first person that says to me "it is time to make new traditions".  As I write that, I realize I have said that very thing to friends who have suffered the loss of loved ones.  How lame am I?  I know just as I was trying to be positive for them, others will feel compelled to do the same for me.  I am not ready to hear it.  I don't want to hear it.  I need to grieve through the holidays and mark those anniversaries, the first Thanksgiving without, the first Christmas without.  I still need to feel sorry for myself, little orphan Katona.  Orphan.  Webster defines Orphan as a child whose parents are dead.  Becoming an adult orphan is hard.  You have lost the last person who could love you undonditionally and care for you like no other can.  No matter how old we become, when your parents are living you are still someones little girl.  When they are gone, no one is left to nurture your inner child except yourself.  It is very sad. 

Nearly every time I saw my dad or called him on the phone, he greated me with "Hi Shug (short for sugar)"  I loved that so much.  It went right to my heart and warmed me from within in a way I can not really explain.  I adored my father.  I've said before that our relationship was often challenging, but he was my daddy and I wanted nothing more in the world than to make him happy.  I didn't usually go about it in the right ways, but I really did want him to be proud of me.  We often butted heads, argued about choices I made, but no matter what tensions were between us, I was still his Shug. 

I miss him so much. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Those Odd Moments -Reprogramming

it is about 2:33 in the morning and I am spending a sleepless night in my cozy room in my friend's home in Wyoming. I want to be sleeping, as I am very tired, but it just isn't happening. I have been struggling for the past few weeks trying to get through my busiest time at work while dealing with grief fog. It isn't easy. I am literally exhausted at the end of each day because I have been struggling to work hard and take care of business when I really don't give much of a damn about it right now. My patience is thin and hanging on to my temper some days is like wrestling a python for eight hours. I am going to have some serious scar tissue on my tongue from biting it so much in order to keep words from flying out of my mouth that I can't take back.

I still can't believe my daddy is dead. His absence in my life is palpable. It is a weight bearing down on me every minute of my days. How then is it possible to forget he is gone? Tonight after dinner we were wondering through a gallery in Jackson Hole and I saw a puzzle on a table a table of some bears. I picked it up thinking that daddy would enjoy it for his birthday which is coming up next week. What the fuck! How does that happen? How do you forget? The reality of his absence from my life crashed over me so hard that I almost dropped to my knees in the middle of that gallery. I miss him. I miss my mom. I miss my sister.

While this is not a good time for me to be out of the office, I need a few days to be away from my daily routine and honor my grief. I need to be in a place where I feel close to my Maker and the quiet peacefulness of Wyoming is about perfect. I need time to clear my head of work stress and quiet my mind and mediate and pray. A lot. I need to work on Reprogramming myself to my new reality.