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Finally Speaking Out


Tinsk

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Hello all. This is my first post here. I've been silently reading your stories here for a little while now, admiring your strength for the words you share, and fearing I would never be able to do the same. Today is the one year anniversary of losing my father. It feels like a good time to do this.

Dad and I hadn't been very close for years. My parents divorced when I was 5, so there was always distance. Add in a really miserable experience with his second wife and her children. But our distance was only physical, we still talked on the phone every couple of months. Last January my Nanny, his mom, told me he was in the hospital and was very sick. I went to see him. The sick was a serious kind of sick, but by the time he left the hospital he was improving. In early February he called me. He said he wanted me to come see him ASAP, that he's very sick and we need to talk. He said he wanted to see his grandchildren one last time. We went the next day. The boys saw him, spent some time with him, and then kept busy playing in the yard. We left that day and I returned a few days later by myself. We talked for hours about our life together. He told me a joke, lol. He loved to tell jokes. Eventually it was time for me to leave. I knew it was the last time I would ever see him alive, and he did too. We hugged. I'll never forget that hug. He held on to my arms as tight as his frail hands could squeeze, and held me close for a long time. He said "I love you so very much Tinsk" (Tinsk was his nickname for me). I told him I loved him too, forever and always. We said goodbye and I left. I cried every minute of the 90 minute drive home, but dried my eyes in time to greet the boys when I got home. Five days later, February 23rd, 2011, he passed.

The time following his death was made even worse by his wife. She didn't like me at all, and the feeling was mutual. My father expressed his final wishes clearly to everyone in our family, but she insisted on a completely different arrangement; one that was 100% against what Dad wanted. I gave his eulogy at his funeral, but she only knew about it when the minister called me to the podium. I had to go to him and tell him about her intentionally cutting me out of everything, and that I intended to deliver my father's eulogy. He agreed to work with me. How sad is that? Having to lie and sneak around just to be able to speak at your father's funeral. The entire family was happy to cut ties with her that day, and that is the only fact that kept me level headed.

Nothing in my life prepared me for losing my dad. Nothing. I've lost quite a few family members, and they were all horrible. But losing a parent is just something I have yet to wrap my head around. I have questions, like why did he let his wife convince him to NOT tell us, his family, when he was given six months to live? I've got a birthday coming soon. I hate my birthday now. Every year my dad would call me early in the morning, before anyone else had a chance to ruin my day he said, and sang me happy birthday. Last year when my birthday came, I just pretended it wasn't.

I'm completely sobbing now after writing this. I'll admit, it has taken me over an hour to get through it all. I feel like peace is on the horizon, but I don't know if I'll ever truly heal from this loss. I have a wonderful husband who was there for me through everything, but I'm starting to feel like I'm abusing the 'Sorry, I'm just a little upset about Dad' excuse. It feels good to share my story here with you all.

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Hello all. This is my first post here. I've been silently reading your stories here for a little while now, admiring your strength for the words you share, and fearing I would never be able to do the same. Today is the one year anniversary of losing my father. It feels like a good time to do this.

Dad and I hadn't been very close for years. My parents divorced when I was 5, so there was always distance. Add in a really miserable experience with his second wife and her children. But our distance was only physical, we still talked on the phone every couple of months. Last January my Nanny, his mom, told me he was in the hospital and was very sick. I went to see him. The sick was a serious kind of sick, but by the time he left the hospital he was improving. In early February he called me. He said he wanted me to come see him ASAP, that he's very sick and we need to talk. He said he wanted to see his grandchildren one last time. We went the next day. The boys saw him, spent some time with him, and then kept busy playing in the yard. We left that day and I returned a few days later by myself. We talked for hours about our life together. He told me a joke, lol. He loved to tell jokes. Eventually it was time for me to leave. I knew it was the last time I would ever see him alive, and he did too. We hugged. I'll never forget that hug. He held on to my arms as tight as his frail hands could squeeze, and held me close for a long time. He said "I love you so very much Tinsk" (Tinsk was his nickname for me). I told him I loved him too, forever and always. We said goodbye and I left. I cried every minute of the 90 minute drive home, but dried my eyes in time to greet the boys when I got home. Five days later, February 23rd, 2011, he passed.

The time following his death was made even worse by his wife. She didn't like me at all, and the feeling was mutual. My father expressed his final wishes clearly to everyone in our family, but she insisted on a completely different arrangement; one that was 100% against what Dad wanted. I gave his eulogy at his funeral, but she only knew about it when the minister called me to the podium. I had to go to him and tell him about her intentionally cutting me out of everything, and that I intended to deliver my father's eulogy. He agreed to work with me. How sad is that? Having to lie and sneak around just to be able to speak at your father's funeral. The entire family was happy to cut ties with her that day, and that is the only fact that kept me level headed.

Nothing in my life prepared me for losing my dad. Nothing. I've lost quite a few family members, and they were all horrible. But losing a parent is just something I have yet to wrap my head around. I have questions, like why did he let his wife convince him to NOT tell us, his family, when he was given six months to live? I've got a birthday coming soon. I hate my birthday now. Every year my dad would call me early in the morning, before anyone else had a chance to ruin my day he said, and sang me happy birthday. Last year when my birthday came, I just pretended it wasn't.

I'm completely sobbing now after writing this. I'll admit, it has taken me over an hour to get through it all. I feel like peace is on the horizon, but I don't know if I'll ever truly heal from this loss. I have a wonderful husband who was there for me through everything, but I'm starting to feel like I'm abusing the 'Sorry, I'm just a little upset about Dad' excuse. It feels good to share my story here with you all.

I can see by just what you've written, the love you had for your dad. It is a hard thing to lose a parent. I lost my dad a little over 1 1/2 yrs ago. I don't think I've fully grieved for him as I lost my oldest son just a little over a year after my dad passed. I call my mom and laugh, or cry depending on our moods, all the time. We here have all lost a loved one and understand the pain of loss so come here and share any time you feel the need. We're here. Hugs and prayers. Vivian-Kevin's Mom

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Hello all. This is my first post here. I've been silently reading your stories here for a little while now, admiring your strength for the words you share, and fearing I would never be able to do the same. Today is the one year anniversary of losing my father. It feels like a good time to do this.

Dad and I hadn't been very close for years. My parents divorced when I was 5, so there was always distance. Add in a really miserable experience with his second wife and her children. But our distance was only physical, we still talked on the phone every couple of months. Last January my Nanny, his mom, told me he was in the hospital and was very sick. I went to see him. The sick was a serious kind of sick, but by the time he left the hospital he was improving. In early February he called me. He said he wanted me to come see him ASAP, that he's very sick and we need to talk. He said he wanted to see his grandchildren one last time. We went the next day. The boys saw him, spent some time with him, and then kept busy playing in the yard. We left that day and I returned a few days later by myself. We talked for hours about our life together. He told me a joke, lol. He loved to tell jokes. Eventually it was time for me to leave. I knew it was the last time I would ever see him alive, and he did too. We hugged. I'll never forget that hug. He held on to my arms as tight as his frail hands could squeeze, and held me close for a long time. He said "I love you so very much Tinsk" (Tinsk was his nickname for me). I told him I loved him too, forever and always. We said goodbye and I left. I cried every minute of the 90 minute drive home, but dried my eyes in time to greet the boys when I got home. Five days later, February 23rd, 2011, he passed.

The time following his death was made even worse by his wife. She didn't like me at all, and the feeling was mutual. My father expressed his final wishes clearly to everyone in our family, but she insisted on a completely different arrangement; one that was 100% against what Dad wanted. I gave his eulogy at his funeral, but she only knew about it when the minister called me to the podium. I had to go to him and tell him about her intentionally cutting me out of everything, and that I intended to deliver my father's eulogy. He agreed to work with me. How sad is that? Having to lie and sneak around just to be able to speak at your father's funeral. The entire family was happy to cut ties with her that day, and that is the only fact that kept me level headed.

Nothing in my life prepared me for losing my dad. Nothing. I've lost quite a few family members, and they were all horrible. But losing a parent is just something I have yet to wrap my head around. I have questions, like why did he let his wife convince him to NOT tell us, his family, when he was given six months to live? I've got a birthday coming soon. I hate my birthday now. Every year my dad would call me early in the morning, before anyone else had a chance to ruin my day he said, and sang me happy birthday. Last year when my birthday came, I just pretended it wasn't.

I'm completely sobbing now after writing this. I'll admit, it has taken me over an hour to get through it all. I feel like peace is on the horizon, but I don't know if I'll ever truly heal from this loss. I have a wonderful husband who was there for me through everything, but I'm starting to feel like I'm abusing the 'Sorry, I'm just a little upset about Dad' excuse. It feels good to share my story here with you all.

Tinsk,

I am sorry to hear about your loss of your dad. Nothing prepared me either for the loss of my dad. I knew he was ill, and I knew he was going to die, but it didn't help much when he actually did. You will never "get over it," you will just learn to move forward. You will begin to be able to smile and even laugh at memories of your father, instead of crying. The one year anniversary is particularly hard, but you are doing a good job.

Talking about your dad will definitely help you. Talking always helps. Have you tried a self help Grief and Loss group? Coming here is a great step in healing. Why don't you tell us all about your dad? He sounds great. We even have a place where you can post a picture of him, if you are up to it.

We will be here for you. As for your father's former wife, I have no idea why some people behave the way they do. Have you heard from her since?

I look forward to getting to know you,

ModKonnie

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Tinsk,

I am sorry to hear about your loss of your dad. Nothing prepared me either for the loss of my dad. I knew he was ill, and I knew he was going to die, but it didn't help much when he actually did. You will never "get over it," you will just learn to move forward. You will begin to be able to smile and even laugh at memories of your father, instead of crying. The one year anniversary is particularly hard, but you are doing a good job.

Talking about your dad will definitely help you. Talking always helps. Have you tried a self help Grief and Loss group? Coming here is a great step in healing. Why don't you tell us all about your dad? He sounds great. We even have a place where you can post a picture of him, if you are up to it.

We will be here for you. As for your father's former wife, I have no idea why some people behave the way they do. Have you heard from her since?

I look forward to getting to know you,

ModKonnie

Thanks Konnie. I made it through the day surprisingly wellyesterday. I sat and thought about him and us and everything for a couplehours. I let myself cry, which is hard. I don't share my emotions a lot. Infact, that's something I got from my Dad. We're both quiet about our feelingsso we can keep a strong, brave face. Anyway, I kept busy all day, and when theevening came I was shocked how well my day had gone.

My dad was great :) He was one of four brothers, and handsdown the most fun! He was so intelligent, just a brilliantly smart man. He wasa musician. When I was younger, he was in a band. He played his guitar, heplayed the harmonica, he sang, and sometimes he played the electric keyboard. Iremember his band would practice in his front yard. The bass drum didn't have afront on it, and they put a pillow inside the drum to absorb the sound. I wouldlay on the ground with my head on the pillow inside the bass drum so I couldfeel the music. My dad felt the music, and I wanted to so bad to feel it too.And I did. Through my father, I gained a huge respect for music, and greattaste in it too. I became a musician because of him. When he was playing hisguitar, he was at his best. Unfortunately, that guitar couldn't go everywherewith him. He struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction for most of his lifeand all of mine. My uncle Dave told me once about them visiting relatives andsomeone hitting the medicine chest and drinking all of the cold medicine. Mydad was 12 when he did that. In college he ran moonshine and marijuana to payhis tuition, and that lifestyle just never let go of him. I would see him forour visit every other weekend and we would spend the entire time on the road.We went to parties, bars, on motorcycle trips, you name it. We were seldomhome. I had no complaints in the world because we were having fun, and I wastoo young to know any better.

When I was 10 he met Elaine, and when I was 12 he marriedher. She came with a cocaine and alcohol problem, as well as three daughters.For a while we were all very close. As an only child, I LOVED my new"sisters". But as we got older, those sisters turned into monsters.One in particular, Carey, became an 8th grade dropout and career drugaddict/criminal. She drained my dad of any money he had in savings constantlyhaving to bail her out of jail. But eventually he stopped fighting, and justplayed along. Carey, Elaine and he were all addicts together. When my youngestson was a baby, so about 5 years ago, I went to spend the day with Dad. He wasdrunk when I arrived, and insisted on going for a boat ride. But I had todrive. That day I drove the boat to the lake, I unloaded it in the water wherehe promptly wrecked into another boat, he circled the lake and crashed head oninto the dock before telling me he'd forgotten the gas AND the plug, and thatI'd have to drive back to the house to get them. Once we finally got going, hedrove that boat so fast and recklessly, I thought I wouldn't make it back toshore. I never, ever should have gotten on that boat with him as drunk as hewas, and I swore I would never do it again. On the way home we stopped at hisfavorite liquor store so he could introduce me to his "family" as hecalled them. He bought a large bottle of whiskey, and a small bottle for theroad. That night he was so drunk, and so high, he told me stories that nodaughter should ever have to hear about their father. I eventually got up toleave, and he followed me. When he stood, he lost his balance and fellsideways. He cracked his skull against the wall. I remember driving homefeeling mortified at what my Dad had become. We lived far apart so I hadn'tseen him in a while at that point. I knew I didn't want to see him again likethat, and I certainly wouldn't allow him to be around my kids.

I could go on and on with anecdotes like that one, but thepoint is I made a decision to shield my kids and myself from him. Over the lastfew years his life continued to swirl out of control. His oldest stepdaughterdied in 2010 from Hodgkin's disease. This was Stephanie, who had endlesslytortured me as a child. And when he called to tell me she'd died, he said"I know you hated her, but you could at least be a decent human being andact like you cared." That killed me! I did go to her funeral, and I'mashamed to say I enjoyed watching him when they accidentally referred to him byElaine's ex-husband's name. Anyway, by this point Dad's health had taken aboutthree left turns for the worst. My family wants me to lie about how he died,and I don't like it. He had cirrhosis, obviously. He lost 70 pounds in a fewmonths. He went through a different problem every couple months; first he had tremorson his left side of his body, then he had pneumonia, and finally he ended upwith something called c-diff, which is a bacterial overgrowth that happensafter taking strong antibiotics. He dealt with that all of 2010, but aroundSeptember he told us all that they'd cleared him finally. What we came to learnwas that everything he told us was a lie. In fact, in September he was told hiscirrhosis was too far gone, his liver was dying, and they gave him six monthsto live. When I saw him in the hospital last January, he'd developed a tear inhis gallbladder which allowed bile to leak into his abdomen and collect there.He had to have it drained in the hospital every few days because it had nowhereelse to go. He was so yellow! We knew then that we had been misled, and thatsomething was very wrong. The doctor discharged him a few days later, and hesaid his liver functions were improving. And that brings me to Elaine, his wifeand my ex-stepmother.

It turns out he didn't have liver function improvement. Shebrought him alcohol IN THE HOSPITAL! The one thing the doctor said heabsolutely needed to stay away from in order to keep improving, she brought itin to him. When the blood work came back, they told him he wasn't taking hiscare seriously and discharged him. I'm sure there's way more to the story, butthat's what we were able to get from the nurse. The next month of his life shespent blocking phone calls from his family so we couldn't talk to him or makeplans to visit. She intervened on his last-minute will signing and had himchange it. The only things he had of value were his guitars. He had two of themand he wanted to leave one each to his grandchildren, my boys. The lawyer heardhim say it and wrote it in, but when he returned the next day to get it signed,Elaine said Dad had changed his mind and was going to leave them to herinstead. She also instructed the lawyer to remove me completely from the will.I wasn't even given the honor of being his alternate executrix because shewouldn't let me be named in the will at all. I was allowed to pick one item ofhis from the house for memory purposes, and that was it. The entire family wasthere that day, except for me. Dad apparently tried to say to her that hedidn't have those wishes, but she managed to convince him to change his waysafter a dose of morphine. And that was that. I chose to keep his recordcollection. His heart was in his music, and the music on his 500+ collectionwas all music I'd heard him play over and over again through the years. Eachalbum has his signature on it in marker, which I'm considering having made intoa small tattoo. The only other thing I got to have of his I had to steal. A1890s banjo that had been his grandmother's. Elaine had forgotten about it, andmy uncle kept her busy in the house while I stole it and hid it in my car. AndI'm not ashamed at all! In fact, I'm proud of my Dad's stolen family heirloombanjo lol.

So I'm reading over this now and am a little embarrassed athow long this is. I started writing this yesterday morning but closed it whenmy husband woke up. I feel like I'm hijacking this thread and telling my lifestory. If you're hanging in here with me on this, I thank you. It feels so niceto speak about him. And Konnie you're right, I have begun to be able to thinkof Dad without having to cry every time. I've started remembering littlememories of us together that I'd not thought of in years, and that's a lot offun. I would love to post a picture of him, and I will once I get my picturesorganized. 2011 was probably the worst year of my life. Aside from his death, Ialso lost my grandmother in September, and our house was robbed two weeksbefore Christmas. My laptop with almost all of the photos I'd gotten togetherand digitized was stolen. My collection of photos of Dad were there. I can getthem back on the computer, but I've only just replaced the printer/scanner thatwas stolen.

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