touching base

Hi there, long time no see.

I want to get back into posting on this thing.  I’m constantly coming up with little things here and there that seem like something best fleshed out in blog-form.  But I haven’t been able to come back to this space because I’ve been avoiding writing about what needs to be written about before I can move on to business as usual.

My dad passed away, back in June.  I can’t believe he’s only been gone five months, it feels much longer.  In a way I’d like to just leave it at that and not rehash anything, but now that I’m writing this it feels like maybe this is the perfect place to rehash this.

To get things going, and because I don’t have the time to sit here and start pouring my heart into a big post about it, I thought maybe I’d share a snippet of something I wrote in my personal journal.  I was just reading back over it the other day and it’s a small glimpse into what I was feeling back then.  And even then I waited a few days to write about it because it just felt too strange to see the words staring back at me on the screen.

“We had the memorial for dad last week.  Everything went really well, there were SO many people there, probably around a hundred.  It was the loudest wake I’ve ever been to – I walked out into the hallway a few times and felt bad for the other funerals happening.  But everybody chatted and looked at the pictures (I put together a collage board and [my brother] had a laptop with a slideshow) and shot the shit.

When we were walking into the funeral home, I was very quiet and taking deep breaths, and [my sister] asked me if I was ok.  Everybody kept asking if I was ok, in this confused tone, like it was some big mystery why I was being quiet.  As if any minute they were going to ask me if it was something I ate, or if I’m having a problem at work.   I did ok at the funeral.  I started crying when I saw Ronnie and Kim, I’m not sure why.  I guess because they had been such a familiar part of our family and I know they loved my dad.  Then I pulled myself together.  At the end, when the crowd had dwindled back down to just our family, I sat in a chair and it all started coming to me.  Once the boisterous chit chat and laughter had stopped, the silence was so sad.  It finally felt real, this was the last thing.  Everyone had gone – I might never see some of those people again.  They had paid their respects and were leaving to move on with their lives.  And there he was, ashes in an urn on a table.  And there we were, fatherless, husbandless, and embarking on a new chapter.  And I cried.  And everyone fawned over me – [my sister] gave me a nice long genuine sympathetic hug, and my mom gave me a hug.  But the thing is, they all acted like I was the one who needed the comforting, like I was this weak little thing that couldn’t handle the situation.  When really I’m not the weird one, they’re the weird ones.“

It’s been five months and I’m finally just in the past few weeks beginning to feel his absence in a sad way.  He was so sick for so long that when he finally passed, there was such a wave of relief among everyone that it didn’t leave much room for mourning.  And of course, everyone had a complicated relationship with my father, so nothing about this is particularly straightforward.  But I think maybe it’s time for me to reflect a little more on the loss instead of pushing it down and out of the way.

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