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Finding my way back into the world

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your kindnesses these nine days since my father passed. Your caring words and gifts and prayers have been a comfort to me, and to my mom and brother, as well. I'm so glad to be a part of this community.

Until today, I have not been sure I was going to get through this. I have not handled it well at all. Night before last, I peeled off down our residential street at 70 mph and drove like a madwoman until it struck me that I could hurt somebody. So I parked in the middle of nowhere and rolled up my windows and locked my doors and pounded the steering wheel and raged at God until I lost my voice.

All that night and all day yesterday, I rode the most horrible train of thought, an unstoppable series of the very worst memories, things that filled me with regret and self-loathing. I wanted to talk to someone, but I didn't want to worry anyone, and didn't want to tell such awful memories to anyone, either.

But then my friend Rush called -- my one-time significant other and still best friend in the world. He had driven up from Austin to be with us for the wake and funeral last Sunday and Monday, not only for my sake but also because he loved my father too, and considered him his father-in-law, even though we never married.

So Rush called last night to see how I was doing, and he got me to tell him about these racing thoughts I was having. And he listened and thought it through deeply, the way only the very truest friend will do... and he reminded me of some things from long ago, and helped me see the true meaning of more recent things, and led me to interpret so much of it differently... and somehow he got me off that train of thought. He discredited that train of thought.

Somehow, Rush made me see that my father absolutely did know how dearly I loved him... and that turned out to be the thing I needed so badly. Just to know he knew.

It's never going to stop hurting, I know that, but I feel like I've reached some kind of balance point now, where what I still have of my father is almost as good as what I've lost.

So I'm telling you this because I want to say a couple of things that might be helpful to somebody:

1. Nobody is perfect, not even the people we love the most, and not ourselves, either. But there are very few faults so great that they should keep us from forgiving one another, or ourselves. Some of us have more to give than others... but as long as we're doing the best we can, we deserve forgiveness.

2. If you love somebody, you need to say so... and if it's not customary in your family to do that, change the custom. I did it when I was about 24 -- just started being unabashedly affectionate in spite of the eye-rollings it got me -- and our family gradually became sort of aw-shucks sentimental instead of arm's-length formal. And because of that, I had almost three whole decades of I love you, Papas that I am so grateful for now.

3. If you have a true, deep friend like my friend Rush, you have a priceless treasure. A friend like that can literally save your life. Go give that person a great big hug next chance you get.

Sorry to pontificate so... but I feel like I've lived a hundred years in these nine days. A lot on my mind, I guess. Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 18
Carol, I am so glad you had Rush to talk to. I've been worried about you and how you were doing. No, it's not easy, and it's normal to feel angry...at God, at your dad, at yourself. I went through a lot of anger and guilt after my mom died, and I did a lot of stupid things too. I'm so relieved that Rush was there for you and got you in a better state of mind.

Nothing I can say is going to make it easier on you...this is a path you have to travel by yourself, and you will have good days and bad days. Just remember we are all here for you and love you. If you need to talk, vent, anything, we're here to listen, and my PM box is free.
post #3 of 18
Oh Carol, i'm so glad you've told us all of this. I know it must've been extremely difficult. I can't really say too many words to make it better. But know that you have so many friends on here who are willing to listen to you rant and cry and remember. *very big hugs*
post #4 of 18
First let me say sorry for your loss. I recognize the misguided frustration and anger you felt and experienced. You are so strong to talk about your feelings so openly, and then on top of that, think about and give words of wisdom to others who could benefit from your experience!
post #5 of 18
Carol, you've just went thru the worse stage of grief....and tho your heart will still ache, the pain will be easier to bear. Bless you.....
post #6 of 18
Carol, I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this. I can't even imagine the amount of anger and despair that you must be going throughl. I'm so glad that your friend Rush was able to be there for you, and help you come to terms with some of your feelings. A true friend like that is one of God's greatest gifts. If you ever need someone to talk to, you have my number and my PM...I'm just a moment away. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
post #7 of 18
Carol, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We are all here for you if you need us
We all love you here on TCS, and will look after you
post #8 of 18
Time is one of things that is on your side right now. Don't rush to get through this, simply take your time.
post #9 of 18

All of the feelings and thoughts that you are experiencing are completely normal. It's all part of loss and grieving. I'm so glad that you had a dear friend who you could talk to candidly about everything going on. Talking really helps.

Don't ever beat yourself up for how you feel about the loss of your father. Losing a parent is not an easy thing to get over. But as someone who has lost both parents, I can promise you this: the pain will get less as time goes on, and that your heart will never forget and will swell up with love and make you smile at certain special memories that creep up on you for many years. He may be gone, but your heart will never forget him.
post #10 of 18

Please know that I am only a PM away.

And I have had those exact feelings(and still do to this day!)
post #11 of 18
Awww Carol You are very lucky to have a friend like Rush Those 3 points are so true too, and its a shame that most people don't realize those things until something happens
post #12 of 18
Thank you for checking in Carol. As always your post was full of personal insight and wisdom that makes so much sense. Your willingness to share such with everyone is one of the things that make you so special.

Although I can't really say I know you, I have to agree with your friend Rush. Your Papa knows your love for him. It is just the person you are, your caring exudes from you and surrounds those near to you.
It even comes through the internet and touches those worlds away from you!

Lots of love still coming your way.
post #13 of 18
One thing I might mention, is that I think what you've done is healthy in a way. When my mom died in October, I "took it well." Never really broke down, never really cried. I feel pretty "normal", actually, but I also seem to have come down with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which often happens after a very strong life stressor. I kind of wonder if I had been more "emotional" if that energy wouldn't have turned itself inward on me...

Prayers to you and your family.
post #14 of 18
Carol, there is much wisdom in this thread -- starting with your own post. I'm glad you had Rush to help you sort through those feelings and memories. It's never easy, and it takes as long as it takes, but one day you'll come to the place where the tears will be accompanied by a smile, and the memories will be happy ones. In the meantime, please be gentle with yourself. You're worth it.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
...there is much wisdom in this thread...
Yes, there surely is... wisdom and insight, and kindness so tender it makes me teary every time I read it. You are all so dear.
post #16 of 18
Having a warm community such as the one we have here is a treasure. Here we share our laughter and our tears and know that we are never truly alone, that we are loved and that someone will always be here for us.
post #17 of 18
I'm glad you're back and feeling better.

Tell Rush we all appreciate him as well.
post #18 of 18
I'm so glad your friend Rush came to see you.
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