Loss and grief are colossal mind games.
That’s the nicest way to put that and certainly not the phrase in my head right now when trying to describe just where my head has been for the past week or two. I consider myself a pretty intellectual, rational person, so I’ve been kind of caught off guard by just how Daddy’s death has affected me.
No one tells you it’ll be like this. And the truth is that no one can.
They can tell you that it’ll get better. That grieving takes time. That it’s a process. But no one can really prepare you for what happens when the steps of that process happen all at the same time or change minute by minute.
No one can really explain just how differently your world will look despite the fact that it mostly looks exactly the same. To everyone who sees me, even people who don’t know me, I look perfectly normal. Nothing about me says “I’m grieving!”
But I feel like I’m radiating it and no one sees it.
And that’s the funny thing about this to me. And also the thing that is the hardest to deal with. The thing that hurts the most.
My day-to-day existence isn’t much different from how it was before, but my world feels slightly off-kilter. Just a little out of balance. Things look a little fuzzy. Not quite right in that I-just-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it sort of way that life is capable of feeling sometimes.
I want to run around shouting “CAN’T YOU SEE THIS?”
The truth is that my life is irrevocably different now. Altered forever. My perceptions of family have shifted. And in a lot of ways I’m afraid. And angry. And I feel invisible.
The married adult children don’t seem to be the ones on people’s radar when someone dies. Concern goes to the widow. To the under-18 children. But those of us with lives, with children and families of our own, fall somewhere outside the spectrum of those we must take care of.
“Oh, they’re adult people! They have families of their own to think about! They’re good. Probably.”
But the truth is that the loss of a parent affects you no matter what age you happen to be when that parent dies. And I’m not saying anyone overtly has the thought that because I’m a 30-something with children of my own I’m not deserving of concern because I must have things under control, but it has very often felt like that in the aftermath of Daddy’s death.
Or maybe it’s because I was his step-child to everyone else but him. Maybe they looked at me and saw “other.” Maybe they really didn’t have a clue who I was and so my hurt wasn’t as important.
I do have people in my life who know that I’m hurting and grieving this loss, but for the most part, this is kind of a silent sort of pain.
But I do hurt. And I’m angry that I can’t just sort of wallow in that hurt for a little bit. That the proverbial show must go on. That there are still a million and one normal life things that have to happen. That can’t stop happening just because my Daddy died.
Dishes. Laundry. Cooking. Child-rearing. Bills. Preschool drop-off and pick-up. Snuggling. Bath time. Bed time. All of it has to keep going except now it all looks different to me somehow. It feels different.
I wasn’t prepared for life to feel so different.
I wasn’t prepared for life to be so different.
Where's Your Head At? Alternate Title: Tough Calls - Finding Walden
Monday 14th of October 2013
[…] buried Daddy and I felt like no one understood just how different my world looked. Because no one did. Because no one […]
Wednesday 21st of August 2013
I'm so sorry to read of your loss. It's been a year & a half since my Daddy passed away. He is still on my mind every day. I still tear up when my kids do something I know he would have loved to see, or when the baby smiles, because I remember that he was the first person my son smiled at... but he will never see this baby smile. It took me over 2 wks to stop crying all day. I felt like I couldn't breathe. Like something was sitting on my chest. I forced myself to stop because my 4 children were grieving too & I knew I was making it worse by being so outwardly sad. I'm still sad, though. I can now think of him with happy memories & not only pain, but life will never be the same. I'm truly sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))
Monday 19th of August 2013
*hugs* I'm so sorry for your loss.
Friday 16th of August 2013
Reading these comments cements again how the blogging community is full of e-hugs. Wish I was there for IRL ones. Keep writing & venting your loss feelings. I hope they help to be out & shared. I keep thinking of you.
Thursday 15th of August 2013
This is going to sound like I'm bitter and well, I don't know but when Cort's dad died, his sister got ALL the concern because she was "alone". Cort and I were married, his youngest brother had a girlfriend who had been with him for YEARS, but his sister wasn't dating anyone. To this day even though she is now married and has two kids and one on the way, she is the one who gets the concern on Steve's birthday and anniversary (yesterday). No one says much to Cort or his brother and definitely not to Cort's SIL and me. We are the "other". And it hurts and makes me more bitter about the death because I feel like I have to suck it up and deal with it by myself.
What I'm saying is...I get this. I have not lost my dad so I am not going to pretend to know what YOU are going through. But I get the grief and the feeling like it's off and life just keeps being normal even though IT IS NOT NORMAL AND WHY WON'T ANYONE SAY SOMETHING?
Sorry I just dumped in your comments. Some stuff is unbloggable because of reasons.
I love you.