Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Explanation of My Absence

A few months ago I posted vaguely that I wasn’t doing well. And then I pretty much posted nothing until now.

So, I thought I should share what’s been going on.

In early December, my Dad called me to tell me that he had been diagnosed with congestive heart-failure. This was a major blow, as he had been battling Hepatitis C for many years and at this point, his only (very distant) hope for beating it was a liver transplant. The CHF diagnosis knocked him off the transplant list and quashed the tiny glimmer of hope for a “cure.” It also hit home that my Dad’s life expectancy was being cut even shorter. While I can only imagine what it was like for him to hear this diagnosis, for me, it was crushing. I was finally having to really accept my father’s mortality. It was not a fun experience.

For the first time in my life, I couldn’t get excited about Christmas. I went through the motions for my kids, but I was just so sad. I even attended my church’s “Blue Christmas” service, which was helpful in allowing me to feel less guilty about feeling so sad at my favorite holiday. It just felt like so much hope was sucked out of my world in the span of a few weeks. 

During one of our regular Skype conversations in February, my dad told me of his newest diagnosis: Pulmonary Fibrosis. While we joked that he was trying to collect as many terminal diagnoses as possible, my heart was overwhelmed by the magnitude of what that all meant. It meant time was limited.

It was around this time that I stopped posting to the blog because we had a lot going on around the house, on top of my funky emotional stuff. As a result of some huge home improvement projects and my general malaise, honestly, my house was a mess and I felt disingenuous posting about great ways to get your act together, when my act was so far from together. (Though I feel it is also important to note that I wasn't suffering a major depression, but just wasn't in the greatest of head spaces. It ebbed and flowed throughout the spring).

Unfortunately, because I was unemployed and we had purchased a "fixer-upper house" we really couldn't afford to travel out to see my Dad, step-mom and sisters, so we made due with lots of Skype conversations. Little Man loved walking around the house and showing his Pops stuff and Duckie thought Skype peek-a-boo was HILARIOUS. While I loved that my boys could connect with my Dad, part of me sometimes wondered if it would just be better for them to not know their Pops. To spare them the pain of losing him, because I knew losing him would happen sooner than later. It was a selfish thought, and one I couldn't go through with, because I knew how much these Skype sessions meant to my dad.

And yet, with all this illness, my dad was still up and about. Not his old active self, but not on his deathbed, either. He seemed tired and out of breath, and sometimes puffy from the CHF, but otherwise, the normal that I had grown accustomed to. He was definitely not well, but I think my youngest sister said it best when she said “he was sick, but he never seemed like he was that sick.”

On Friday, August 16, my world changed forever. My cell phone rang. “Dad Home” popped up on the screen and I thought “YAY! I was going to Skype him today anyway.” I picked up the phone, expecting to hear his voice. When I heard my older sister’s voice, I was startled. She was calling to tell me that Dad had died that morning.

I wasn’t ready to hear that.

I’m still not ready.

I still needed to call him and say I loved him one last time. My boys needed to have one more Skype session with him. We still had so much to talk about.

And yet, despite all this, he was gone.

The past few weeks have been a blur of travel and childcare arrangements and funeral arrangements and family and all the zillion other things that go along with losing a family member. Now, I am home and I am trying to adjust to the new normal. I know I will get to a place where I will feel better, but right now, I just feel sad. As a normally happy person, feeling persistently sad is a really uncomfortable place for me. I’m allowing myself the time and space to grieve, but I hate knowing how long a process it will be. And that while it will not always feel this raw, it will remain an unfixable hurt.

I’m sure that for a while, if/when I post on here, the posts won’t always be chipper. I apologize in advance for that (I know I don’t have to, but c’mon, who wants to read a downer blog? Not me!). But, if you can bear with me for a little while, I’m hopeful that we’ll get back to a new normal and I’ll be telling you how to reorganize your life in a few easy steps…

For now, I just miss my dad so much that I barely care if my junk drawer is a hot mess.

Cluttered Mama (as a Cluttered Girl) with her Daddy, may he rest in peace