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Category Archives: Grief

Missing you

Not sure where this is coming from just out of the blue. Must have been the stress of last Thursday and the decent cry I finally had.

I dreamed about you last night. All night it seems. You know how sometimes you’re having a good dream and you wake up and are bummed it ended? This time it didn’t. Every time I woke up during the night I was able to fall right back to sleep and continue the dream. And you were always there. Your bright blue eyes and warm smile.

But now the day is fading and the dream is long over. Losing you was so hard. I never expected something like that to hit me so hard. Must have been related to the other huge losses this year. Just far too much of it for my liking. It’s hard to believe I’ll never see you again, never again hear your voice.

I miss your voice. Your encouragement. Your patience.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Grief, Life

 

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People really DO bring food

I’ve been to tons of funerals in my life. Tons. But never to one where I was in the front row, on the comfy couch rather than the hard seats behind the immediate family. Things are different from this perspective. Not saying I like it, but it’s been an interesting experience.

Something that intrigued me the most is the fact that people really do bring food to the grieving family. I always thought that was a southern thing or something church people do. So I was pleasantly surprised when tons of food came pouring in within hours of my dad dying. It was quite amusing actually.

On Monday night my cousin Richard showed up with a huge tin of spaghetti sauce. Homemade. Yum. And a big crusty loaf of bread. Then Tuesday night my mom’s friend brought us a pot of homemade minestrone soup with more yummy bread and noodles. Wednesday morning my brother brought by a huge basked of baked goods from a local bakery. A friend of his sent it to his house and he brought it to us at my mom’s house. Later that same morning another of his friends stopped by with some homemade orange bread. OMG it was still warm.

By Wednesday night I was so amused by all of this that, when my boss caught me logging in to check my work email, I asked her to send me some Garrett Popcorn from Chicago. I wouldn’t ordinarily come right out and ask for a gift, but she caught me on our office IM system and said they (my co-workers in Chicago) felt bad that I was so far away and wanted to do something to support me. So I asked for the popcorn and she sent it!

Yeah, so this is my new thing since my dad died. Being more assertive and telling people what I want or need and not being bashful about it. So weird. But refreshing at the same time.

Anyway, so Thursday afternoon another my my parents’ friends stopped by with a cheesecake. I just realized we never dug into that one and it’s probably still in the freezer. Bummer. Then the popcorn arrived on Friday afternoon and we enjoyed the heck out of that for the next week.

While this was all very intriguing and amusing to me, it was also very touching when I realize that each of these people took the time and effort to care for me and my family during our time of need. I’ve never done anything like that. I honestly thought it was just something you read about in books and no one really brings food to a grieving family. It’s inspired me to reach out to others when their time of need comes. Not only to simply pay it forward, but because it’s the right thing to do and until now I never realized how much it truly matters. How much it lifts someone up when they need it most.

p.s. I will at some point stop talking about funerals. I promise. I’ve always leaned toward the dark side though so I can’t say exactly when 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Grief, Life

 

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Getting easier and easier

This morning I was having the hardest time dragging myself out of bed. The weather was so rainy and crummy all weekend. That combined with the pain in my hip from Friday’s run meant lots of sitting around the house on my butt rest was in order which made it even harder to motivate on a Monday morning.

However, I’m determined to follow thru this time and made the best effort possible to stick to the program by running every other day. So I finally dragged my butt out of bed at 8:30, got dressed, did my calf stretches and exercises and headed out.

The hip was still sort but not nearly as sore as it was on Friday and Saturday. And the more I ran and walked to warm it up, the better it felt. The run results were much like Friday’s so that was a plus. A moderately paced walk to the track, ran on flat pavement or grass where I could and did quite well. So things are definitely looking up. I think I’ll stick to the current run and walk times for the next 2 runs then increase the run times slightly on Sunday and see how that works for me. I still can’t imagine running even a half mile at this point, but I’m still hoping to get to that point by May 19th for the Annapolis One-Mile Challenge which supports Special Olympics Maryland. Last year I walked it and was the last person to cross the finish line. I was fairly mortified and vowed to run as much of it as possible in 2012 so that’s my first goal.

I’m also feeling better this week on the bereavement front. So maybe venting my anger with the grief counselor on Friday helped somewhat. I did cancel my appointment with her on Friday as I didn’t feel I got anything out of it, but maybe I actually did. Don’t know for sure, but I do feel better so I’m gonna let it be.

 

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Grief, Life

 

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Getting by one day at a time

Feeling much better this week and I’m really glad. It seems like I’ve hit my rock bottom as far as grief (at least until the first holiday without my dad) and I’m coming out of the grey and back into the light.

In addition to talking to my mom every day (which is not a new thing – we talk daily anyway), my best friend has been incredible. We’ve always stayed in touch but go for months without talking on the phone and just email a few times a month. We’ve been emailing daily though and talking on the phone, sometimes for hours, a few times a week. We’re supporting each other through our troubles and it’s been immensely helpful.

Yesterday I went to individual grief counseling at hospice. I didn’t get much out of it and probably won’t go back. I do feel somewhat better having reiterated the entire story of my dad’s illness, death, and my feelings of disappointment and grief with regard to the years he and my mom and the rest of him could have had with him had he not been so sick for the last eight years. So I think the venting, the support from friends, and reading some books I got from the library have been a huge help. I don’t think counseling was a waste of time, but she really didn’t say anything, just sat and listened to me vent. I guess I was expecting questions and answers and helpful hints. For $80 I can vent to myself and not have to take time off of work to do it.

One book in particular titled Death Benefits has been especially helpful. I’m not done with it nor with the exercises within the text, but what I’ve read so far has made lots of sense. More sense than any of the other 3-4 books I’ve read.

Another thing that’s helping is that I’m trying to stay really focused on my diet and exercise. I’ve been sticking to less than 1,600 calories a day and have been walking almost daily and even started back with the running program I abandoned a few weeks back.  I’m still getting shinsplints but I’m trying various stretches and off day exercises to help build up those muscles so hopefully this will not plague me forever.

The run I did on Friday was pretty good actually. I warmed up at home, then walked to the track avoiding any hilly areas and made sure to walk deliberately and using short steps rather than reaching too far with my stride. When I ran I stayed on flat terrain and actually ran on the grass for the first part of the run. Of course, during the first 2 minutes I managed to pull my gluteus medias and thought I was going to die (leave it to me to pull my ass, you know??) but once I realized it was just a muscle and not my hip bone disconnected from my… well whatever other bone my hip bone is connected to… I was able to keep going. It was pretty sore Friday and most of today so I used today as a rest day. Despite that setback I’m thrilled with Friday’s run. It felt good, my form felt good, and it wasn’t excruciating. I’m actually looking forward to my next run to see if it feels as good.

It’s totally crappy rainy out anyway and today was not a scheduled run so all is not lost. I had cardio and strength training on today’s schedule but didn’t want to push it so I’m resting. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy as well but if it clears up and my glute is better I’ll run in the afternoon or just do the strength training and get back to running on Monday.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Grief, Life

 

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What really happens to people after they die?

Some days I think it’s getting easier but then I break down and it seems like it’s not. I’m just not sure.  What I do know is that everything I’m feeling is perfectly normal so that’s a good thing.

Last Wednesday I went to a grief education workshop at the local hospice. It was slightly helpful in that there were other people there experiencing the same feelings so it made me feel normal. However they started out the session by lighting a candle and reading some sort of poem about lighting a candle in your memory, yada yada yada that made already vulnerable and sad people start sobbing. So not sure if that was the intent and meant to get us talking or something, but I didn’t find it particularly helpful nor calming.

There are a lot of things going thru my mind right now, all of which I’m sure I’ll touch on with time, but I’ve been able to determine that the thing which is bugging me most.

Where is my dad?

I have zero religious or spiritual bones in my body so I cannot relate to heaven or whatever on any level at all. I just cannot accept all that stuff and be sure of anything I cannot prove or see for myself. But I can’t stop wondering if he is somewhere. Can he see us, can he hear us? Is his body restored to health somewhere and he’s having a good old time hanging with my grandma and his friends and family who died before him.

I think if I knew for sure I’d feel a lot better. Lots of other friends and family have died but this is the first time I’m really questioning what happens after. Like is this it or is there something else? I want to believe that there is something else, something better, but I really have no idea. I just wish I knew. I think it would help me to move on.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Grief, Life

 

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Life goes on…

But it’s hard. On February 20th my dad died. I was scheduled to stop in Michigan on the 25th but jumped the first flight I could get on the 20th and spent 2 weeks with my mom and family near Detroit.

I thought I was OK and had made peace with the situation. I must have said good-bye to my dad a dozen times over the past 8 years. And I was OK while I was home. Somehow was able to give a eulogy at the memorial service without breaking down but totally lost it later that day. After that I was fine until I got back to Maryland and lost it again. I’m a bit of a mess but working through it and very slowly getting back to normal. Whatever normal is now.

I could say so much more but I’m really not ready to do so just yet. I’m sure as I work through this I’ll have a lot more to say.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Grief, Life

 

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