Everly

Loss of a parent - daily thread

2,179 posts in this topic

Welcome, ELiz, Cats, NewPB and BalleMN.  Everyone here understands the longing you feel in your heart for your beloved parents.  Writing about our feelings can help us arrive at acceptance of our losses, but it still takes a lot of time to heal.  Sometimes the only comfort is that our loved ones are no longer suffering.  Only we have to bear the burden of sorrow at their passing, not them, thank God!  Cry until you can cry no more.  Eventually, the beauty of the world and the good people in it will make you feel blessed to be alive again and give you hope for the future.  It is our duty to pursue our own happiness.  The pain of your you will always have with you, but it will make you a kinder, stronger, wiser person.  You did the best you could for your loved one under the circumstances.  Even saints, even the Son of God, felt sadness and doubts.  Our loved ones had their own regrets -- it's the human condition.  I love that line from "Lawrence of Arabia" -- "The trick is not minding that it hurts."

I've been busy checking Ancestry.com trying to find the gravesite of my great grandfather who died on a ranch in Texas circa 1916.  He was the tutor to the children of the ranch owner.  I never met him, but it is my dream to find his grave and to bring his remains to California to be interred with his beloved wife.   It might be too expensive but if other relatives chipped in, it might be doable.  However,  my relatives hardly visit our great grandmother's grave so they probably wouldn't care.  None of us got to meet our great grandparents.  

While I was on the Ancestry site, I decided to look up my father's records to see if there was anything new.  I found his marriage record and noticed that I was born exactly nine months after my parents got married.  It's like I couldn't wait to join my dad on this earth.  I could tell from the start that he loved me more than my mother did, but it wasn't her fault.  She didn't feel loved by her own parents.  Now that my father is gone, I feel like Dgiirl said -- not entirely sure how to keep going without that unconditional love.  Ernesto tells me he loves me only when he's tipsy.

I feel sad, because so many of my loved ones had hard lives.  My life has not been a bowl of cherries either, but not nearly as hard as theirs.   I have so much more to enjoy than they had.  Now my life is probably sadder than theirs, because I have no one to love me.  Ernesto might care about me, but he loves Texas more than me and California put together. 

My great grandfather as a professor dedicated his life to educating people.  Then the Mexican Revolution took everything away from him.  He died on that ranch from a fever at 48 years old, leaving behind his young impoverished family.  His grave has been abandoned for a hundred years.  Somehow the location of his grave was lost but I have some clues.  After I sell my house, Ernesto wants me to visit Texas with him.  He said he would help me search for my great grandfather's grave.  Since he seems to have psychic gifts, maybe Ernesto can dowse for the grave for me, if it's unmarked, which it probably is by now.  When he was a boy in Mexico, digging for wild yams, a couple of times he would be walking and felt compelled to stop and dig in certain locations, for no apparent reason.  In these spots he found the skeletons of dead unbaptized babies, abandoned by their mothers.  It's good that the Catholic Church no longer believes that unbaptized babies go to Limbo.  Some people might think it's a waste of time and money to search for a long lost ancestor's grave, but some people like to climb mountains just because they're there.  It costs about $30,000 to climb Mt. Everest.

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Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you for your hopeful words and kindness. During these difficult times we need them more than ever.

I can relate to so much to what you are writing about. I went to see the movie Hidden Figures this past weekend. And you realize how many people in the world from the beginning of time have struggled. Money struggles. Relationship struggles. And I guess that will never end. There is no pot of gold it seems. We all just make do the best we can. We try to find a little happiness where we can. Experiencing grief and loss so close has been very humbling. But I hope you are right MissionBlue, I do hope to be become a wiser person. Hopefully.

Take care my friends.

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Hi Everyone Reader, Mission, Sliver, Lisa, Zsusie, YoWoo, Belle, Athina and newbies.

Reader: I haven't posted because my wrist is bothering me. I fell backwards in the yard and injured my good arm back in July. I was in the garden and took a step backwards and tripped on the melon vines. I've been warned not to go to the yard by myself in case I fall, but do I listen?! Nooo! My arm turned purple right away. Going to pee was torture. It took like 2 minutes to pull down my shorts and even longer pulling it up. I finally wore a sleeping gown for 2 weeks and can't do anything, but sit and watch TV. I had no hands! Anyways, yep, Valentines is coming soon. Another Valentines day without mom. We were never big on that day, but ever since mom passed, I look at it differently. Valentines is everyday for me because I have my family.

Mission: Wow! It's hard to decide whether you want a nice view or a nice home. During my short time in San Francisco, I enjoyed the view so much. I can see the bay area. It's awesome! I do hope you'll be able to find the answers you're looking for regarding your great grandfather. When is Ernesto going to move? Is he going to wait until you get settled in then move? I hope you guys will remain friends after you go your separate ways. Does his family know that's he's moving to Texas? Where are they located? It's so nice of Ernesto to help you find your great grandfather.

YoWooYa: I'm sorry what happened to you when you posted a question online. People can be so cruel and insensitive. I agree with Mission that it's a good thing you didn't respond to them because they're looking for a "fired up" response. That response to me is someone looking for a confrontation.

NewPB and BalleMN: Welcome! I'm sorry for your loss. You have come to the right place. It certainly helps to find the right support group. I used to be in another online support group and I was rather disappointed. It felt like I was talking to myself. Then, I found this site and have stuck with this group ever since. We have an amazing group here. I've always said about it from the getgo. We don't judge you. You can come here to share your thoughts, stories or even vent. We're here to support you. We're all ears.

Lisa and Silverkitties: Always thinking of you. Hope things are okay.

Love n Hugs

May

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Dear MayFGL,

Please, no worries. I'm sorry to hear about your fall in July. Please take care. Health comes first. I'm on the keyboard all day at work. And my right wrist especially hates me sometimes. Please don't worry about writing. I completely understand. I appreciate all your support and kindness since I joined this forum.

I can't believe its Valentine's Day! But if you can believe it, it will officially be the 4 month anniversary of my dad's passing. More of the hated 4s. I know Chinese are superstitious anyway, but I'm even more so since my dad's passing. I seem to see 4s everywhere. And I get freaked about seeing any number combos that add up to 4 too. I know I should let it go, but I can't seem to escape all these 4s popping up.

Trying to keep busy. But my thoughts still catch up with me. And I struggle to come to terms with my dad's passing. I still think I could have saved him. I should have done more. I feel like a murderer because my dad depended on me. And in the end, I didn't make the right choices and this is why he is gone. If only...then maybe I could have had one more year with him or more. I know its useless nothing will bring him back. But sometimes my mind won't let it go.

Take care my friend. I hope your wrist feels better. And again, please no worries about writing. Have a great weekend!!! And Happy Valentine's Day!!! I know I will have some chocolate.:-)

Love and hugs, Reader.

 

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Awe, thanks for your kind words, Reader. You are the same here--very supportive and understanding. The site that I was on before here made me feel like I was invisible. There was no support at all. I supported them, but I didn't get any in return. I stayed on for less than 2 weeks and I decided to jump ship. I came aboard here and loving it. Everyone here is supportive of each other. 

I would feel the same as you regarding the #4. Since mom didn't pass with regards to the 4 it doesn't bother me. Mom had the stroke on 2/24/15. She passed at 10:29PM on 3/13/15 the same day she came to America. There are no connections. I see 2s and 3s. In chinese, 2s mean "good things come in pairs" and 3 means "birth". They both are considered lucky numbers. Whatever!!

I know exactly what you mean. I'm like you. I felt like I killed my mom. No matter how many people tell me otherwise, in back of my mind, I'll always think that. I don't know if that's part of grief for some of us or what. The part that really bothers me is that I don't know how long it took for me to go back and check on mom when she was on the toilet. It could be anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes. I just don't know. I remember telling the doctors that it was 10 minutes later that I checked on mom. I was thinking about it after the fact. To this day, I have no clue with  and that's what's eating me up. 

Oh, something weird happened at the house last month. My niece's weiner dog suddenly barked at the alter room. It's not the first time either. It happened before my mom passed. My niece and her dog used to sleep on the couch. Occasionally, the dog would wake up around 2ish at night and growl at the alter room. Also, my sister's dog Coco which we raise. She only goes home to sleep at night. Well, a one day the family went out for dinner and I stayed behind. I was watching TV with Coco next to me. Suddenly, she jumps down from the couch and starts to growl at the alter room. I thought to myself, "Oh, crap! Not you, too." That was creepy!

My wrist will never be normal again. I already have carpel tunnel. Well, what can I do?! Just live with it, right?! :huh: Happy Valentines Day to you, too. Eat plenty of chocolate. I find myself gaining weight after Christmas and I can't seem to lose it. Maybe age has to do with it, too. I just turned 50 couple of months ago. The problem is I haven't been walking much because of my bunion and knee pain prevents me from walking. The abundance of food during the holidays isn't helping much either and snacks staring at me. Well, I can't just let the cookies sit there all alone. So, I took good care of them. LOL But, one thing I do have is will power. I started walking again yesterday. My right (stroke side) butt cheek and leg are soared. Darn!! I miss really aerobics. <<sigh>>

Have a great weekend!

Love n Hugs

May

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Hi All,

  Sorry I haven't been on this week, it's been a busy week for me (mostly good though).  On Sunday I went to my neighbors for a Super Bowl get together and had a nice time, but then once I got home I broke down again, because I knew that I wouldn't have been at this get together if my dad were still alive (so many things I've done lately, wouldn't be happening if he were).   I worked Monday and Tuesday and while I was at work on Tues. I got a call from a local radio station letting me know I won two tickets to a Craft Beer Festival (which is tomorrow night).  So on Wed. which is one of my days off from work, I took a 30 minute drive to the station to pick up the tickets. It was an unusually warm day of 60, so it was the perfect day for the drive and on the way home I decided to stop at a Red Lobster for lunch.  Then after that gorgeous day, we got 12 inches of snow yesterday, which resulted in me having another day off this week.  A male friend of mine came over when the storm ended to clear the paths for me and he brought dinner of sausage & peppers and a big batch of Pina Coladas which we drank until 11 PM.  That resulted in me being hungover this morning when I had to go to work at 7 AM, LOL!!  

 Anyway, I'm still having my moments where I think too much and get sad, but I'm also seeing that I'm being given lot's of wonderful opportunities to do fun things and spend time with friends, so I know my dad wants me to enjoy life.  Oh and I had my 3rd and 4th dreams of him since his passing, each one he's more vibrant then the one before.  The one the other night he looked about 20 years younger.  

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Hello, Everyone:

Reader, I understand how you feel responsible for your dad's death.  I feel the same way about my dad's passing, but even with hindsight, we will never know for sure what course of treatment would have been better.  Even if we could have saved them this last time, there was always going to be a time that we couldn't save them.  I don't know anybody who goes around saying, "I took such good care of my parent that he/she died happy!"  Maybe it happens, but I've never heard of such a thing.  Even when someone dies "peacefully" in their sleep, who knows that they didn't suffer, too?  Some people still suffer under total anesthesia.  Suffering is a part of life.  It is noble to alleviate suffering, but it's not always possible.  Our parents deserve to be remembered and they deserve to be missed, but we do not deserve to suffer this agony of guilt.  Not when we did more for them than anybody else.  I've known people with plenty of children who still ended up living alone and miserable, not because they were a bad parent, or because their kids were bad people, but because lifestyles have changed.  Not everyone can afford to give up their job to take care of a parent full time, and the ones who do are often isolated and frustrated, because even when you want to help your loved one, they won't always let you!   You try to explain why they need to do whatever it is, and it's in one ear and out the other.

May, you are not responsible for your mother's death.  Your mom chose to lean most heavily on you, when there were others who could have pitched in more.  If anything, you are guilty of being the most lovable of her children which is not a crime anywhere in the world.

Ernesto has said that he will wait until my home sells, before he leaves for Texas, but most likely, he wants to come back and stay with me for visits, when he comes to SF to visit his children.   I am having such a hard time trying to find a good place to live.  I found a house across the bay which would be perfect for me, but the closest good hospital is 25 miles away and would take 32 minutes to get there by car.  I've never had to be hospitalized (knock on wood), but I'm not getting any younger.  I've been so spoiled, because there are two hospitals within one mile of where I live here.  If I choose to buy a house in my same neighborhood, I will have to pay through the nose for that privilege.  If I move to the boonies, where it's cheap, safe and quiet, I could die of loneliness.  Some of these bedroom communities don't even have a hospital or a decent place to go shopping, but they have a pet hospital, a plastic surgeon and a country club. 

Belle, I know how you feel about being able to do fun things that you wouldn't have been able to do if your dad were still alive.  I feel that way even when I'm just getting a latte at McDonald's.  Congratulations on winning tickets to the Craft Beer Festival.  It's good that you're having more dreams of your dad.  In the last dream I had of my dad he was placing a blanket over me, like he did sometimes when I was napping on the couch. 

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Dear MayFGL, 

I know what you mean. Its hard to find the right forum. Its so true. Some of us give and give and get nothing in return. On some of the other forums for losses, I see a lot of posts and not one person can even say they are sorry. Glad we are all here. And I am so grateful for the support and understanding. Its an amazing feeling when you feel people "get" you. I know none of us can be here all the time and we are all doing the best we can.

MayFGL, you were unbelievably selfless towards your mom. If I had a daughter like you, I would be so proud. But I know what you mean. No matter what people tell me, I still go back to the last year of my dad's life. I had so much anger and resentment about how much I was doing compared to my siblings. I think it clouded by judgement and my compassion. I know I can't change the past. I keep trying to talk it out but sometimes there are no good answers.

Thank you for telling me about the dogs barking at the alter. Maybe the dogs have a sixth sense about a "presence" in the room. I'm still looking for sign that my father is okay. I don't think  I will ever find it.

Me, too. I've been gaining weight since Christmas. I'm not even really hungry, but I think its more comfort eating since my dad's passing. Thank you, yes, I will have some chocolate.:-)

Thank you as always for your kind replies! And your support and understanding.

Have a good weekend!

With love and hugs, Reader.

 

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Dear MissionBlue,

Thank you so much for everything you said. Everything you write is framed so perfectly. And so true. I know that even if my dad lived to 100, I would still question myself. Why did he have to die? Why today? Why now? And I would continue to torture myself.  I know I should be grateful for having a dad as long as I did. When I read other posts of people losing their parents before they were even born or when then they were children, teenagers or early 20s, it breaks my heart.

My dad really lived his life on his terms. He enjoyed his cigarettes and coffee. He was independent right up until the stroke. I thought he would be happy to be alive afterwards, but he suffered. The meds were never right. And for three years, nothing seemed to go "right." Every new year would approach and I would think, this is it, this is the year things will go better. But it never did. He had teeth issues, then skin issues, heart issues, and then he passed. I know you are right. As a daughter and caregiver, I honestly thought I had done more than anybody else, but it still hurts so badly that my dad is gone.

MissionBlue, thank you for your perspective and comforting words. Your understanding is appreciated. And thank you for your replies.

 

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Good morning EVERYONE ... nice to see all of you continuing to come here and share your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.  I really appreciate the sense I get in coming here of not being alone with my losses.  

I like that some new people found their way here because of the support we share back and forth.  It gives new folks the hope that we all need to get through the tender feelings we experience in losing a parent.

Me, I am doing well.  Finally after a 2 month wait, I will start rehab on my knee/leg.  The knee replacement left my leg feeling weak and now I will get some professional help to strengthen it and hopefully get back to work soon.  So far it's been a 5 month journey since my surgery but the good news is that I am pain free and that is a blessing.

With Valentine's day tomorrow ... it got me thinking about when I was a kid and my mom would get a big box of cards for us kids to pass out to our friends at school.  There were treats for us as well.  Even though Valentines Day wasn't a huge deal in our home, but it was acknowledged and a day that I looked forward to.

Anyway, I wanted to stop by and say hi to the wonderful people here who have helped me a lot since the loss of my parents.  Also to welcome new people here.  I love you guys!

Cindy Jane

 

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Really struggling lately.  Been really social which has been exhausting.  I don't feel like working.  Been waking up on weekends and just don't want to do anything.  House is a mess but no energy to clean 

Valentine's Day is making me remember my Dad and how he use to buy me those heart shaped chocolate boxes as a child

Really really missing my Dad and starting to feel depressed.  

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Hello Everyone,

Today marks 23 month since mom left us. I had a very good cry today. I was thinking about everything that happened to mom. Sorry, Mission and Reader, but I still feel guilty. Mom never talked or have anything to do with death. Not even watch funerals from movies. She was afraid of death. I was so glad that I was at her bedside as she took her last breath.That will forever be burned in my brain. I've always wondered if mom knew she was not going to make it. If she understood what was going on. 

One of mom's friends passed about a week ago. It reminded me of mom because they both passed around CNY. I didn't attend her funeral because we had a performance. It's also bad luck to attend a funeral during CNY. I remember when my mom was in hospice, my family had to do a lion dance performance. My family and I are the main ones behind LD. Without us, there would be no more LD. We were quite upset when there were people who couldn't step up to go. So, 5 of my nieces and nephews had to go perform. 

I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentines Day! Reader, Mission, Silver, Lisa, Eve, Cindy, YoWooYa, Belle, Athina, NewPB, ELiz, BalleMN and newbies.

Love and Hugs, May

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Dear MayFGL, Sending you extra hugs and love!  Your beloved mom was so lucky to have you. I know what you mean. I too still feel guilty. I thinks its only natural and normal after being so close to our parents. The questions still linger and I think they will for a long time. My sister's friend's grandmother also passed around CNY. They didn't bother inviting anyone to the funeral because they knew no one would come because of CNY, which I find so sad.

Dear Dgiirl, I'm so sorry. I can relate to so much of what you are writing about. I too feel the same way. Feeling tired and exhausted is also part of grief. Please be kind and gentle with yourself. We can only take one day at a time. It is a struggle to carry on after losing such an important person in our lives. You are not alone. And glad you here with us. Thinking of you.

Take care my friends.

 

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Dear May and Reader,  I still feel guilty, too.  I'm just saying it's not fair that we have to feel this way after we did so much for our parents.   Sure, our parents did a lot for us, and I'll always be grateful to my dad, but caring for a happy, healthy child seems a lot more fun than caring for older folk who can't even enjoy their favorite food anymore.   Some of us who didn't have children will never have someone that close to help us when we're old and sick.  Not that I would even want to burden my child with this responsibility if I had one.  Still, I would do it all again for my dad.  There were many more times when I did do the right thing for him.   Why is it so much easier to stay focused on the negative?  I wish there were hospitals and nursing homes that hired truly compassionate people, so it wouldn't be necessary for relatives to monitor them so closely.  There should be remote monitors at home, so we can see for ourselves how our loved ones are being treated in these institutions at all hours.   Maybe that would keep the staff on their toes.

That is sad that people don't attend funerals around CNY.  My family had a friend from England who died before Christmas.  She didn't want any of her grandchildren to attend her funeral, because she didn't want to ruin their Christmas.

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!  My dad's confirmation name was Valentine, in honor of Rudolph Valentino, one of his favorite actors (mine, too). 

Love and hugs to all.

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Dear MissionBlue,

No worries, I know exactly what you mean. I always thought because I had spent almost every day with my dad that somehow I wouldn't have regrets after he passed. But instead I feel tortured. I regret everything I didn't do after his stroke. I had so much anger at my siblings for not helping more. A few months before my father's stroke my sister had asked us to buy burial plots together. I feel like a black cloud hung over our heads since that day and for the next three years it was one fight after another. Even simple things like the light bulb going out in the house seems like "another" thing for me to take care of.

I honestly don't know where the time has gone. The last three years before my dad passed seemed to go faster and faster. And I didn't even get to say what I should have said. Or asked the questions I wanted. And the last few months were the worst. Family fights over his care. And I couldn't let go of the anger. My dad was getting weaker and weaker and yet I never believed he would die. I thought he had super DNA and would just carry on. The reality of his death has been unbearable at times.

You are so right. Its true though. I'm sure MayFLG, you and I did more right and more good but yet we focus on the negative. I know I must change my story. And its an important step in healing.

My father never wanted to go to a nursing home. I never wanted him to go either. But the last month my siblings talked about it and maybe that had somehow contributed to his death. He felt like his children didn't want him anymore and he died instead. I go back to your previous posts. And you are right, even if my dad was alive right now, I know he would have been suffering. And I never wanted that.

Thank you again my friends for your support and understanding. And allowing me to get some thoughts down.

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!!! Filled with love, hugs and chocolates!

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your kindness and understanding.  I wish there were something I could say to take away the pain of our sad memories.  I hate it when relatives abandon us and get angry over money, the root of all evil.  I feel so guilty that I complained to my father about our relatives and even the professional people in our lives who weren't so professional.  I wish I could have kept quiet and let my father live in some kind of fool's paradise, but I had no one else to turn to.  I am crying so hard right now.  I wanted so much to make my dad happy, showering him with gifts, and he often would scold me for spending too much money.  Besides, it was too late for him to enjoy these things like he used to.  My mother also lost all interest in her former hobbies.  She didn't even want to play the piano anymore, which had been her life.  I know my dad was happy in his own way, but it wasn't my idea of happiness, except when we were watching movies together and enjoying music.  We were so alike in so many ways, except I wanted us to go out more while he preferred staying at home.  He didn't like being seen using his walker.  All his life he had prided himself on his physical strength and health.   He hardly even caught colds.  I also thought he had super DNA, except for his teeth.   He used to have a gorgeous smile, but I think he ate too many sweets and white flour products.  Then I resented him for discouraging me from buying a car when I had the chance.  I really have only myself to blame. 

I feel like I am on the threshold of a new life.  Soon I'll be able to do things I never did before.  The only thing missing is the person I loved most in the world.

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Funny thing dawned on me the other day as Valentine's Day was approaching. A celebration of love and relationships. I never really thought of my mom as a friend. She was everything you have in a friend but I just saw her as "mom" and nothing else.  It's not until her passing that I realized how we had become more than mother/daughter but also friends. She passed away almost 2 months ago with me at 31yrs and her 65yrs old. By this point she was done raising me, per say, and we had transitioned our relationship to a new phase. I was no longer the bratty teen who talked back. I was no longer getting lectures about partying safe as a college student. Instead we were venting to each other about things such as our husbands and how they never take out the trash. Like girlfriends. I will miss the things she never got to to teach me as a mother. Such as her recipes... but I will also miss out on the friendship we were developing as two mature women. It's not the memories that make this so hard but the moments we will never have. I'm already terribly dreading Mother's Day around the corner.

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Dear MissionBlue,

First, ((((hugs))) I'm so sorry you were crying when you were typing your last post. I think you are beautiful writer and you express everything so well. I appreciate your words more than I can say. Thank you so much. I know. Me too. I wish I could take away all our sad memories. MissionBlue you were an amazing daughter. I can identify with so much of your story. Your dad could not have asked for a better caregiver and companion. Yet, I know you also scarified a lot as well. 

I think Belle also mentioned this too. This idea that even though we miss our dads, we now have this opportunity to do something different and to finally also do something for ourselves. Its a strange thing for me to grasp. I'm still so sad over my dad's passing. Of all days Valentine's Day is the four month anniversary of his passing. It feels very strange. And I'm still filled with anger about his death.

MissionBlue, I'm proud of you. Glad you are making a new start. Learning to drive. Finding a new home. I think its what your dad would have wanted for you. To be happy. You gave your dad so much. I take inspiration and hope from every poster here.

Take care my friend! Thank you again for all your kind replies. Means the world to me. Sending you extra love and hugs.

 

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Belle: Glad you enjoyed the Superbowl. I know what you mean and I think its only natural. I'm reminded of my dad every day, but some moments catch me off guard and I become tearful. I'm envious of you my friend. I've only had two dreams of my dad. One where he was still alive. But the other one I was devastated because they had moved his grave at the cemetery and I couldn't find it.

Cindy Jane: Glad to hear the rehab his helping and you are doing well. I'm so grateful to everyone at his forum. For the kind welcome and support. It has a meant the world to me.

ELiz: You are so right. Its the fact that there will be no more new memories. No more shared moments. Even the simple moments of having dinner together. I feel terrible that I took my dad's last years on earth for granted. And I too dread Father's Day. I hope I can find some way to honor my dad. I hate grief. I hate how I feel. And I want to badly for my dad to be alive.

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Dear Reader:

((((Hugs))) to you, my dear friend.  I am very touched by your compassion and comforting words.  I pray that God will ease your heart as you travel this difficult journey. 

My Valentine's Day was bittersweet as I reflected on how little romance I've experienced in my life.  I still love Ernesto but I know it's impossible.  He picked a calla lily from my own garden and presented it to me, jokingly, but it's the first time a man has ever given me a flower on Valentine's Day that I can remember.  I tickled his nose with it. 

I tried to go to bed early, hoping that sleep, the balm of hurt minds, would bring me comfort, but I just lay there in the darkness, thinking about my dad and I started crying again.  Then I thought about the song "Refugee" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  I hadn't listened to it in years. I used to be a big MTV fan in my early twenties. I turned on my iPad and watched the video and that stopped my crying jag.  I could relate to the lyrics:

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
Tell me why you want to lay there, revel in your abandon
Honey, it don't make no difference to me baby
Everybody has to fight to be free, you see

[Chorus:]
You don't have to live like a refugee.....

Like a refugee, I struggle with trauma, grief, disbelief, vulnerability, isolation, anxiety and depression.  The parent who gave me refuge from the world no longer exists.  This is so hard to accept, but since the beginning of time, everyone has had to fight to be free from pain, sorrow and despair.

ELiz, I'm very sorry for your loss.  I know what you mean about missing your mom's friendship and all those future shared moments that you will never have.  My dad was my best friend and being his caregiver made us closer than ever.  Even though he lived to 86, there are still many things I wish we had talked about more. 

Take care, everyone, and hugs to all....

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I can definitely relate to dreading the upcoming holidays.  I was completely dreading valentines day.  I was flooded with memories of childhood with my dad on valentines day.  I miss him so much.  I'm dreading Mother's day and Father's day and my birthday and his birthday and then the 1 year anniversary of his passing.  It's going to be hell.  Friends who have lost a parent tell me the 2nd year is even worse.  Not looking forward to it.

MissionBlue, I can relate to the little romance, especially on valentines day.  I was with a man for a very long time who did not believe in v-day, so we never celebrated it.  I made justifications and excuses and shrugged it off as I believed he loved me.  Until 11 years, out of the blue, he came home on v-day and wanted a divorce.  He didn't even realize that day was v-day.  I realized how utter bs that was and how very little I asked for in that relationship, and I swore to myself from that day forward, whether I was single or not, I would love myself and treat myself well each and every v-day.  And I did and have ever since.  I'm now with a wonderful man for the last 10 years who also treats me very well.  I don't care how much he spends on v-day, I actually don't want him to spend a lot, he just has to recognize it with the smallest of gestures, and he has every single year we've been together.  I suggest claiming v-day for yourself, treat yourself exactly how you want to be treated and others will follow or get out of your life.  Be happy!

 

 

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Reader-Like you the moments catch me off guard too.  I was doing fairly well yesterday, but then while driving home from work I started to cry because it was the very first Valentine's Day that I was completely alone. I'm 53 and there have been very few years where I was actually dating someone on V-Day, but there was always a gift from either my mom and dad while mom was still here and then since her death, either a gift from my dad or we'd enjoy a special meal together like sushi or crab legs.  But then I pulled myself together and I made myself a nice dinner using one of the steaks that my dad had in his freezer and I talked to him and told him I was enjoying it for the both of us.

 

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Dgiirl, I'm glad that you have a wonderful man in your life who cherishes you the way you deserve.  I appreciate what you're saying about treating myself the way I want to be treated.  Lord knows I am trying to be happy.  Yesterday I treated myself to a delicious seafood dinner ordered in and some exquisitely decorated heart cookies that I ordered on Amazon.  I also sent some cookies to Ernesto's family. His daughter said they're too pretty to eat.   It takes time to get used to celebrating holidays alone.  Ernesto doesn't believe in holidays.  Anyway, we're not a couple anymore, just roommates.  He would love to be friends with benefits, hence the flower, only because I have told him, "You don't give me flowers, how can you expect me to give you what you want?"  It's more complicated than that.  I have to remind myself that not all men are like him.  It's just sad that the most romantic words I've ever heard from a man were from a con artist who thought he could take Ernesto's place here.  He said he loved me after just knowing me a couple of days.   The sad part is that I genuinely enjoyed talking to him more than anyone I've met in years.  I don't mean the compliments which were bs, but just talking about life, the paranormal, astronomy, religion and other assorted topics.  He seemed very intelligent, but he had nothing to offer me except words.  Too bad he and Ernesto had a falling out.  It was fun watching movies with both of them and watching Ernesto get jealous.

By the way, the flower Ernesto gave to me yesterday is a calla lily that has grown by the cottage for over seventy years.  Below you can see a photo of a calla lily from the same spot taken in the 1940's.

I was crying last night, because I have lost my favorite Valentine (my dad).   Since he retired, we used to kid each other saying, "Every day is a holiday!" (from Pinocchio).

callalily.jpg

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You know what no one ever lets you know about? The fact that in addition to dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, you are now going to have tons and tons of stress thrown on top of you from dealing with all the BS and if you have a brother like mine, that BS will be 10 times more then it should be.  I've spent the better part of my afternoon on the phone first with my brother, who took it upon himself to go see a lawyer about starting the probate without including me in on the consultation (which as a co-executor I should have been in on) and then he just wanted me to say "yes, go ahead and start things" without me having a chance to talk to anyone first (well that wasn't going to happen, as little sister isn't the naive girl he might think I am). So then I called a friend who put me in touch with a lawyer friend of hers who was nice enough to look at the will after I emailed a copy of it too him and then called to give me his advice (unfortunately he concurred with what the lawyer my brother saw said).  Then my brother called back to say that his lawyer will consult with me at no further charge then what he already paid him and so I called to make that appointment which I now have set up for the end of this month.  Meanwhile from what I'm gathering, the lawyer that my dad used wasn't a very good one and things should've been worded differently in order to have been more in my favor (stupid me for never having the dreaded talk with my dad about things, like I had so many times wanted to do, then didn't because it upset me to bring the topic up). But had I done so, I could have gotten my dad to change the will to be more favorable on some things.  

Anyway, I just feel like curling up in ball and bawling my eyes out for the next several hrs (or days).  I'm so tired of everything and just want to be done with it all!

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Hello May, Reader, Missionblue, CindyJane, Lisa, Athina, Eve, Belle--

May, I hope your wrist is improving. I wish I could be there with you, if just to cheer you up. I know how you feel with the approach of your mom's angelversary date. You did all you could, even with your stroke.

Reader, I hope you have had some respite.

I'm sorry I haven't been here for a while. i've just been crazy busy with the class, seeing my dad, shoveling my way out of the big snow we had last week, and worrying about his release and the possible cancer diagnosis. I've been sick too w/ a cold to top it off. 

Just like Belle was saying, things get a lot more complicated with the stress that comes after a death....in fact, unless you're very comfortably well off or are on perfect terms with your siblings, estate matters and all finances affected by the death of the loved one can complicate things. I've never been one for finances--except stock trading--and there are so many questions I want to ask my mother but, of course, she's no longer here--and makes her absence even harder to accept. 

In fact, because I am so worried about the money that will be needed for my dad's caregiving, I've been more depressed than ever.It doesn't help that when I commute home from NYC, I am always reminded of my mom....as I sit gazing at the city lights, I think about our times in the Bronx as well as the one time mom and I took the bus to NYC and back  in 2008. Sometimes as I sit there, eating my dinner--my one chance to fully relax--I can't help but wish mom were here with me so we could just chat about the day and reminisce about the places we visited in NYC.  Then when I get to the rain/bus depot, I can't help but think about mom picking me up 4 years ago....and now I have to wait alone.

Right before I head to bed, I always wish I could see mom just one more time....how much happier I would be if I were assured that we would be reunited after I die. I hate the Buddhist belief that I may never see her again....that we will both be reincarnated at various times, never to share our lives together.

And now as spring approaches, I think more and more about the weeks leading up to her first stroke in April 2014: this is especially so as I go over my textbook. Yes, it's been 2 and a half years, and yet sometimes the grief feels so fresh and raw. I still recall those happy afternoons that winter and early spring when mom and I would go drugstore hopping enroute to grocery shopping.How wonderful it was at other times to hear her voice on the phone, telling me she would be home in a few minutes. When
I hear old songs, I inevitably feel happier at first, recalling that at least then, mom was alive.... bur, of course, now she's gone--and I feel like the refugee you've mentioned Missionblue (especially with our own refugee situation today....)   The fact that my life feels so uncertain--no job certainty, no one to love romantically (or at least to share the closeness I had with my mom really aggravates my grief.) 

I have a good feeling about you and Ernesto. From here, it really seems that he cares and loves you even if he seems kind of gruff. That con man will always be a big IF....sort of like the Brad Pitt character in Thelma and Louise.

 

 

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