Thursday, August 4, 2016

more time please

I've learned a new thing in the past almost three weeks.

I thought I was pretty good at keeping my feelings hidden.  Apparently I am not.

I've also learned another new thing.

People, especially those who care about you, want you to feel better.  Soon.  Please.  Because it's uncomfortable to not be able to make someone feel better. 

I've read about these two things before, written by people who have experienced great loss.  Some have experienced hugely tragic losses--the loss of a child or the unexpected loss of a family member.  Losing my 91-year-old dad who had lived with dementia for over five years was nothing like that, I'm sure.  But it is hard in its own way. 

So when people who may or may not know about his passing ask me, casually, how am I doing, in my mind, I'm surprised that they are asking how I am instead of them being able to see the huge hole in my heart and instead asking me whatever has happened and how can I cope and go on with that gaping wound and shouldn't someone tend to that injury?

Perhaps I am too dramatic in my head. 

It probably doesn't help that my kid's health has been up and down over the past six weeks too.  I'm not a fan of saying stuff isn't fair--thanks to my high school teacher who printed in pastel-colored chalk across one whole wall of chalkboard, "LIFE ISN'T FAIR" because he was weary of students saying stuff wasn't fair--so I rarely say stuff isn't fair, but seriously.  It isn't fair for a kid to know more about health insurance and liver enzymes and blocked liver ducts than anybody else I know. 

So there's that.

I know people care about me so much and want so much to help or make it better or somehow ease the pain. And the hugs and pats and support are so very appreciated.  And even after this short amount of time, there are moments, minutes, even an hour, when I can get buried in a project that requires me to think and focus and for that brief bit of time, I'm not thinking about my dad and my kid.  Or my mom, which is a whole other concern. 

But the thing is, these feelings are always there, just below the surface, so if someone asks me earnestly how I'm doing, I'll likely say I'm okay but apparently my face gives me away.  I thought I was doing a really good job of keeping it all inside, but in the past two days I've realized that apparently I can keep it under check for about five seconds but if you look at me for longer than that, you'll likely see the pain seeping through.  And you'll want to help and I'll start to cry and it will be a mess.  Sorry about the mess.

The truth is, I'm doing the best I can right now.  I miss my dad.  Missing him feels sad.  I'm worried about my kid.  And that feels sad.  And worrisome.  Because I'm me, the worrier.

I've heard that time helps with the pain of loss.  I'm hanging on tight to that, hoping sometime I'll feel not so sad.  I don't expect I'll ever feel the way I felt before my dad died, because life isn't the same with him gone. 

But today was a better day for my kid so that feels good.  And I'll keep hoping for more of that. 

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