Friday, January 16, 2009

Good Grief

I'm new to this whole grief thing. Not to say that I haven't had a lot of crappy things happen to me in my life before Dad's death, because I have--divorce, Mom's breast cancer, diabetes, losing my Grandpa, to name a (very) few. This, though, is the worst so far. I've read books and websites, pamphlets and The Bible, but have yet to find a magical answer to healing it all. I suppose there isn't one.

Because I was 600 miles from home and had packed in a get-home-in-time-to-say-goodbye frenzy, I didn't have anything to wear to Dad's service with me in TN. My Aunt gave me a dress that she had in her closet that didn't fit her--a pretty, simple wrap dress from White House/Black Market. It is a size 10. I wear a size 4. I felt lucky to have it. I stuffed the top with an extra pair of Blaker's socks so it didn't sag and relished the thought that I could burn it when the service was over, and never have to see it again (my Aunt had given her blessing). Instead of burning it though, it's now hanging in my closet. The hatred I expected to feel for it just isn't there. I look at it and I think, "Dad," even though he'd never seen me in it, not one time.

I had to ask Blaker to take my Dad out of my speed dial on my cell phone--for years he's been #3, behind my pre-programed voicemail and Blaker. I accidentally called Dad twice this week, once to ask him a question about a funny rattle on my car, once to see how he was feeling. I haven't been able to take him out of my address book totally, but now speed dial #3 is my brother. Now when I call, at least somebody will answer and I don't have the horror of realizing what I did when Dad's voice mail picks up.

Sutton came through yesterday when I was cleaning the kitchen and asked me if we could call Papaw on the phone. I tried to explain to him that no, we couldn't. Papaw was gone. We had explained this to him already, but he's only three, so I don't know how much he absorbs. He kept insisting that, yes, we COULD call Papaw. I kept telling him, no, we couldn't call Papaw anymore. He finally went and got his little play phone out of his toybox and came though and told me that HE would call Papaw. He "called" and jabbered like he does whenever he pretends to call anybody else. Then he toddled back into the kitchen and said to me, "Papaw says he's not sick anymore." Well, damn. Maybe he CAN call Papaw. I wish I could.

I'm ploughing through all of this the best that I can, for what it's worth. I try to be my strongest for my Mom, who I think, in turn, probably does the same for me. I'm told that time heals all wounds, but I'm suspicious since I don't have any firsthand experience with it. For now, it's one day at a time, and hoping for a much brighter 2009 than we've seen so far.

2 comments:

Chad and Amy said...

Haley,

I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. You are in my prayers.

Amy

vanilla said...

I've had the same experience of not being able to take someone who passed away out of my address book or my email list for a very long time. I did it when I could, as in when the time was right, and I do still think about them. I thought of them today after a show I watched triggered memories.

We never let them go, as they were part of our lives, and a good part.