Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Open Wound

It was only 6.5 months after my own father passed that a long time childhood friend lost her father  ("T") prematurely as well. She was robbed of the opportunity, nay the privilege, of saying goodbye or being by his side when he passed. I can't imagine the emotional berating that she is going to put herself through. She has already expressed to me that she feels guilty for not being closer to home. (She is about 2 hours away)

He passed on a Friday morning - just like my dad; he was creamated - just like my dad; his service was 15 days after his death - just like my dad. Both of them had health issues. Both were stubborn and the similarities do not end there. 

My friend is an only child. She has her husband to offer outside comfort and support. I can't imagine not having my siblings there to lean on right now. Her mom is going to be moving in with her and her husband. It will be a challenge for a while, I am sure, but at least they will have each other for support. 

I received the message of her father's passing while I was at work that Friday morning. It chilled me to the bone. She left a hysterical blood curdling message saying her father had passed. I instantly called mom to have her investigate. I was at work and not capable of making the phone call. I put off calling her to offer condolences for a few days. It was too hard. I didn't know what to say. When I did call her the following Wednesday I was able to offer her an glimpse of what life has been like for me the past 6 months. I didn't paint a pretty picture, but rather tried to be as honest as possible. I don't believe in sugar coating things like this, because they aren't meant to be. This is the hard stuff of life and it's better to be prepared. I told her about how this is that part that no one tells you about... how the service is paid for; taking care of your mother; hearing what caused his death; arranging for a funeral. My father's death made me aware of the less then pretty parts of life that we need to be realistic about...funeral arrangements, wills, etc. You also need to be prepared to address outstanding bills and the like. 

This past Saturday was my friend's father's service. I decided it was the right thing to do for me to go. Mom had to work so my oldest brother signed up with no hesitation to attend the service with me. He worked closely with T in our family's business. (*side note - my brother and I wore the EXACT same colored clothes to the service...very strange*) The service was not at a church so it was shorter then dad's. The service paid homage to a man that I vaguely remember. I have few memories of him, but those that I have are good ones. During the service the funeral director went on to elaborate on the father-daughter relationship that my friend and her dad had. I know it's selfish of me, but I couldn't help but feel jealous, and to cry for myself. I do not have such memories of my father. I don't remember him being all that involved in the things that I did growing up. We didn't have a special routine while I was growing up. She was also fortunate enough to have her dad walk her down the aisle. That is something I will never get over. I know I mention it frequently, but it's the one BIG thing I feel robbed of. All through dad's leg issues, I hoped and prayed that he would be able to walk me down the each surgery was one step closer to getting it done. At one point of the service the funeral director read this poem and I could have lost it completely, my brother too... It really hit home and spoke to me.

We didn't attend the luncheon afterwards, as it was hosted at a bar that T frequented. Call me crazy, but that didn't seem appropriate.

To say that this opened a wound is putting it mildly. It felt like someone ripped off the still fresh scab of a slowly healing wound and then tried to put it back like nothing happened. When my brother drove me home, we sat in his SUV for a while to recoup, and I literally was taken back to the day dad passed. The world felt different. I felt exposed, vulnerable. While this was a painful experience it allowed me to grieve a little more for my father and I so need to do that. I am not expressing my grief properly for some reason. I haven't cried in a while and I can't seem to.

As I sit here and type this 7 months and 3 days after my father's passing, he still doesn't feel gone to me. Even the death of T doesn't bring the message home. I long for closure and for peace. I long for acceptance and I know it will come eventually, I am impatient for it's arrival. I just want to turn back time and for things to be as they were, before October. 


  1. Remember I'm here and I'm experiencing the same pain you are. All my love, beautiful!

  2. So sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how you must feel. We all face it at some point and even thinking about it makes me sad. Hang in there. I'm sure there will always be a missing piece but I hope the pain gets better with time.