Thursday, February 24, 2011

nine days without dad

It's been nine days since I watched my father take his last breath. The one thing I've heard almost as much as I'm sorry is that it will get easier with time. But that's not the case, at least not yet. It's just been getting harder.

It's 4:03 a.m. as I lay in bed typing this. I haven't slept in over a week and don't feel it coming anytime soon. Maybe this is normal. Maybe this is processing. Whatever it is, it just sucks. What are those five stages of grief? I can never remember how they go, but I'm pretty sure I have them out of order. I started with acceptance. I had so long to consider the possibility that my Dad would lose his battle, that finally accepting it felt so easy. Though I'm realizing now that once I accepted it, everything happened so fast and I never really processed it. Looks like acceptance will be coming back around again.

Denial and Isolation. This is the first stage, and I'm guessing a lot of family and friends may think I've been at this stage for some time, but I haven't and probably never will be. I'm just not a public crier, I prefer to cry alone, on my time, when I can truly process the feelings weeping from my eyes and get through them in my own way, rather than because someone in front of me is telling me how.

I'm starting to feel anger creep in for the first time. I've done pretty good focusing on all the amazing years we had as a family, feeling lucky for having 32 good years with my dad rather than 75 mediocre ones, but now I'm angry that he is gone.

I don't think I ever did any bargaining, though I have found myself looking up and asking my Dad to take the pain away.

4:12 a.m.

I need a kleenex. I had so much more to say but lost it somewhere on the way to the bathroom. It makes me sad to think that so many of you reading this right now can relate. It's not fair. Which may be the single most popular phrase in the world, but it's true.

I've been internally debating about taking this into religion, but that and politics are two things I purposely try to avoid here, and I just don't have the strength right now to delve that deep.

Am I going somewhere with all of this? No. We all work through things in our own way. I type, and it helps. I also buy shoes and eat peanut butter, but we won't go there.

I promise my blog won't be this depressing forever. I have this huge void in my soul but I have so much to fill it with. I will be back again, back to the person who smiles as much as my Dad did, the person he raised and the person he loved with all his heart and soul. Without even knowing it, he gave me the strength to get through this, so I damn well better.

4:30 a.m.


hello gorgeous said...

oh sweetie, I have been thinking of you over the last few days, hoping you would be strong....but I'm not so sure it's strength you need, nor the other stages of grief....savour the affect your dad had on your life, dig deep when you need to hear his encouraging words, stand tall when you think of him but most of all take forward what he has taught you, pass it on to others, help them feel what you have felt with the help of your dad but most of all remember he will ALWAYS live on through you and {when the time is right} your children...the chain will never be broken sweetie...


hello gorgeous xxx

Peach Rainbow said...

I am so sorry to read about your loss - I could read your posts only today as my blog reading was reduced due to two deaths in my family too.
One was my uncle the other his grand daughter aged 15 (died due to kidney failure on the 15th of February)
I can understand how you might be feeling now and no words could take the pain of your loss away but gradually God will show you a way. Because We all will return to him and we all belong to him.
May God bless you with Patience and Strength during this difficult period.

limonada said...

Yes you will. I know you will.

Elsina said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish there was a way it could be easier for you. I find comfort in my faith and trust in G-d, that death is just another station on the way and somewhere sometime we meet again with connecting souls. I wish you G-d bless and send hugs.

Lynn said...

Sending lots of hugs and love your way...I completely understand how you are feeling. It gets less immediate but the loss never really goes away. Hang in there.

ThePeachTree said...

I don't know what to say.. but I'm listening.. and thinking of you.. and here if you need me.

ashley said...

i think that you cry less over time, but it never gets easy. grieve, its only natural. its hard when you're there for the end because its horrific and its hard to get past that and remember the "good days".
its not fair, it sucks. i don't think there's any reason you should have to act like you're ok for a while.

Katie Howard said...

I know exactly how you are feeling. I am 31 days away from the 1 year mark of my mother's death. It still feels like yesterday. I had 26 years with her but it never seems like enough time.

I am still angry, sad, confused and heartbroken. Trust me when I say-it WILL get better. You will be better in a month that you are now. You will have good days and bad days. You will miss your Dad like crazy one day then be thankful the next day that he is not in any pain.

I know that nothing I can say will make you feel better. Nothing anyone said made ME feel better.

Know that he is always with you, and you can talk to him when every you need to. My thoughts are with you during this hell that you are going through.

Should you ever need someone to talk to-please feel free to email me. It helps talking to someone who has gone through something like this and made it through (barely) to the other side...


rachel said...

In my experience, it gets better with time only because we get used to it, and the process of getting used to it can take a long time. Grieve now; if your blog helps, don't worry about it being depressing! It's very real to so many of us, such a fundamental loss. My thoughts are with you.

Sweet Pea said...

This was today's blog entry from one of three contributors on

Grief is a long run.
I hate running. It’s difficult, and I’m slow and dramatic.
Every pile of leaves I have to run through, curbs I have to scale, a wind gust,
a traffic light, all impossible hurdles.
Panting, getting farther and farther out,
endlessly having to put one foot in front of the other and
constantly thinking, what am I doing out here?
Grief is a long run.
There comes a point, though, in every run,
when all of that effort, each footfall, starts taking you back home.
And there is nothing, nothing, nothing like being done with a long run.
That bending down and taking off your shoes,
walking around for a minute in your sports bra and tights
like a soldier who doesn’t want to get out of uniform,
or a bride who isn’t ready to take off her dress forever.
There’s a big glass of water, and a bowl of oatmeal.
A shower. And maybe a recovery nap.
Grief is a long run, and these are the things I am holding out for.

I hope your run isn't too long.

Emerald Window said...

I feel your pain. My mother was just diagnosed with Lung Cancer and given 4-6 months. I take small comforts in the fact that she has lived 80 good years and I have been with her 54 of them. But it is still painful and I am learning from you that it is OK to immerse yourself in grief so that you may work through it. Holding it back and "putting on a good face" only delays the process and is not healthy. Just as the memory of your father will always be with you, the pain of his loss will always be there too, but eventually the memories will be stronger than the pain.
I would recommend doing whatever you can to try to get some sleep, since much can be processed in our dreams.
Kisses and courage are sent your way.

Kelley Miller said...

There is no timetable for is what it is, and its different for everybody. And you will re-visit the stages, and work through it in YOUR time, whatever that needs to be. And I know that its hard, but try and be patient with yourself, but mostly try and be kind to yourself. And write whatever you need to on here. Even when you are in the depths, what you write always touches me, and helps me heal too.....thank you so much for sharing it all. You are such a brave soul. You are your Fathers Daughter....take comfort in that. xo Kelley

Bonnie said...

There are no rules about grieving and just when you least expect it, grief will wash over you once more. Everyone grieves in their own way and its in proportion to the love you have for your Dad.

He will always be there to talk to - he will always be with you.

May God bless you and your family, Nicole.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Honey! Don't ever apologize for feeling sad about your Dad! I find it so wonderfully touching that you grieve so deeply over him; it shows your love.

I hope you sleep soon. You need rest. Prayers go your way for comfort and rest.

Mitsy / ArtMind said...

Hugs and cookies to you, sweet!
Thinking of you! X Mitsy

Unknown said...

Accepting death and accepting life after experiencing loss are different - and you'll find both in time. It took me almost a year to get to the second point and even longer to get to the first. 9 days or 9 years, it will never be easy and it will never seem fair, but we keep going. Keep your head up and feel every emotion you feel. You have that right - even if you do it in private :)

Catherine Ivins said...

It's a process Nicole and yes, it is totally unfair and you have every right to feel any way you feel and those feelings are going to change daily - I think you should just allow yourself to feel them, breathe through it - you have also built your life around your dad for so long that I am sure you are feeling the loss even more ... feel all your feelings and reach out on your blog whenever you need to - that's what we are all here for ...


LoriH said...

I was just logging in to check on you. Nicole? Do you really think we are tapping our foot, waiting for your blog to get less depressing? Seriously? We are your friends and come here b/c we care! Two things, as stated above, are true and important to note: 1) Grieve now, dont try to not hurt anymore, mask the pain and "get over it." It will just come back to bite you later. 2) There is no timetable for this process. Feel it how you need to feel it in the timeframe that is right for you. Dont let anyone tell you that 2 weeks is too short or 2 years is too long. If we are still checking back weeks and months and years from now and you are still expressing your heartache over this loss, we will still keep coming back to support you (and will still understand). Cuz that's what good people and friends do for friends.

Take your time and put our love in your pocket...take it out when you need it.


Hello, I'm Emily Clare. said...

we're here. we're listening. if typing helps, type away.

Brent said...

I think as human beings, we're wired to want to fix things. I think that's where all of the well-intentioned condolences come from. But this isn't something that can be fixed, it's something we just have to feel and bare. Even as I typed that I wanted to tell you what I'd do in that situation - but my process isn't your process, so all I can say is that I am so sorry for what you're going through and I hope that each day, the load gets easier to carry.

StudioCalifornia said...

I am sorry for your loss. You are a great person, Nicole and I wish you all the best. Think of all the great time you had with your father.
xoxo Petra

Kattuna said...

I'm so sad to read about the lost of your dad! :( please don't worry when sharing your thoughts whether happy or sad, there's lots of us here for support, love and lots of virtual hugs!

Emily said...

Thinking of you and just wanted to send you some warm wishes. Time ( a little longer than 9 days unfortunately) will hopefully soften the harsh edges of what you're currently feeling.
Much love.

Tara said...

my heart breaks for you and your family. losing someone you love leaves such a massive hole in your life. praying that you will find peace and that your friends and family will draw close and you would find some comfort. :)

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this. Unfortunately I can relate, as I lost my Dad as well. And as annoying as it is to hear a million times, and as much as it doesn't seem true right now, it DOES get better with time. But it never goes away. Ever. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Earmark Social said...

Nicole, I just wanted to say how i am so saddened by your loss and your words here, you do have an amazing outlook on life. You are in my thoughts. I hope that the days eventually get easier. I find that it simply takes time. Lots of time. It cannot be rushed and the emotions come and go as they will. As the days go on you will come up with your own ways of moving forward and remembering all of the awesome times you did have with your father. You have been so strong throughout all of this and I have always been so impressed when I read your blog, etc.

Take some time to enjoy the little parts of a day, like peanut butter and shoes. Perhaps buy a new pair of shoes and fill them with peanut butter and get out a big spoon. Sounds gross, but perhaps the entire act of doing this will make you smile and at the end of the day a smile might be all you need to sleep through.

My best to you, ALWAYS. If there is anything I can do to help please do not hesitate to ask. xoxo - bridgette

Zhivana Designs said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Nicole...

Kristen said...

You've heard it all. I just wanted to tell you I love you, friend!