You know, I was planning on writing a post about the awesome trip I recently took to the Four Corners region to take part in the wedding of Cinta Garcia de la Rosa and Mark Stone. And I was gonna write about IndieVengeance Day 2014 and the awesome that went on while hanging with my friends for a full weekend of book signings and wine drinking and general merriment. And then I was going to write something poetic and lovely about my trip to game two of the world series.
Ain’t happening though. Frankly? I feel like shit.
We finished clearing out my dad’s house yesterday. For those of you who have lost a parent (or parents), you know where I’m coming from, especially if you were close with your parent(s). For those of you who are lucky enough to still have one or both, enjoy them, even at their most annoying. Because the past three months have taught me that grief is a process, and one that just loves to kick you in the crotch at any moment, generally at the worst possible moment.
Not long after Dad passed, a friend of mine asked me if I’d hit the point where I wanted to just crawl into the furniture. And then told me when I hit that point, I’d start feeling better. Then I’d feel like shit again. Then I’d feel better. He was right.
Helllllloooooooo bi-polarville! I’ll be moving in until further notice.
It’s the little things that are what drag me back into it: how I’ll never again give my father shit over his compulsion towards never throwing away expired food (oldest expired item? a jar of cumin from the 1970’s), never argue with him over our differing religious beliefs, never be annoyed by his opinions on how I should be living my life according to what worked for him versus what works for me.
The last dump truck full of items we threw away drove away yesterday at 3:30 p.m. And what was in there? That’s not what’s important. What’s important are the memories we built together as a father and daughter: him teaching me how to type, our weekly dinners when I was a teenager so he could get one on one time, my picking up lunch and us debating (for fun) some hot button issue, the way he loved my children, his grandchildren. On Friday evening, my Uncle Tom and my cousin Diana asked if I wanted them to stay while I went through some of the items that were piled up to be discarded or donated. And I answered honestly that no, I was just stalling. Me grabbing another nick-nack or photo was my way of fighting the inevitable: the reality that my father is no longer with us. He’s not in those things I boxed up to save and hold onto.
We close on the house tomorrow, a house I’ve always felt 50/50 about: on the one hand, it was where we lived since 1989, and I could at any moment walk in and just sit down at the kitchen table. After tomorrow, it will belong to another family. On the other hand, so much bad happened in that house: my mother’s abusive side, my parents divorce, my recovery and shelter from the end of my first marriage. Yet it was still home, as painful as certain aspects of it were. And after tomorrow, its gone.
So I feel like shit. And I’m certainly not the only person to have ever been right where I’m at right now.
But it certainly feels that way.
There’s nothing I can say to this. Words won’t make it better. It’s not going to change. But it’s a path you have to walk, and you have two choices. You can strike out boldly, or you can get trapped in the mire. I live all the time with the threat hanging over me of losing someone special. Life’s burden is never easy, but I’m sure there is a lot of good stuff waiting for you ahead, if you can just keep your momentum going.
I felt something like this when we closed on my grandfather’s house. There were a lot of memories, good and bad. And though it wasn’t home, it was still a part of us. I wish grandpa had been in the things we took with us too, but he’s somewhere far more lasting, and I guess that’s the best I can hope for.
Sometimes you need to break out of a bad mood or let someone else try to cheer you. And sometimes you just need to wallow in your grief and let it flow naturally. Keeping you in my mind ❤