Losing a Parent: Sorting Out My Feelings

I don’t know if anyone has wondered where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, why I haven’t been posting or why my social media pages have been so quiet. As harsh as it may sound, I don’t really care. This post isn’t for you. It’s for me.

I’ve lost my father. My go-to-guy for just about everything; the one man that would always tell me exactly what he thought, regardless of my feelings…because life doesn’t have a filter. I lost my daddy; the man I looked up to, the one who instilled in me my hard work ethic, my no-nonsense attitude, my adventure, and my drive to succeed. I lost my Indiana Jones; the man that could go through hell and back and still survive. And I’m still in shock.

And let me clarify; because it’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I’m so overwhelmed right now that I feel like I don’t have room to care. I’m lost. I’m angry. I’m heartbroken. I’m hurting, both mentally and physically. And when those feelings subside for even the briefest of moments, I just feel so empty…so void of emotion that I sometimes wonder if I’m still really here.

I have good days and bad days. I don’t know if that’s normal. I think it is, but I still question it. I’ve been trying to go through the motions…getting up and getting my son ready for school, getting myself ready for work, trying to put a smile on my face and deal with the public for 8 hours a day while the storm inside me ravages on in my mind and beats down my spirit. I’ve reduced myself and my family to fast food and pre-packaged meals as I try to divide what time I have away from work between two households so that I can attempt to sort and distribute my father’s belongings.

I try to sleep at night, wondering what I could have said or done to have changed the outcome, if I could have done anything at all. I wonder if I’m doing everything he wanted me to do, if I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings, if I’m going to make someone angry, if whatever I do or am considering doing would have made him hurt or angry. I often wonder how I’m going to get through tomorrow. I can’t even think about the day after.

But most of all, I wonder how I’m going to make it through this crazy world without him to help guide me. I miss hearing his voice on the other end of the phone. I miss his crazy drive-by antics where he would leave a portion of his garden harvest on my doorstep – not even knocking – and take off without saying a word, leaving me to find his surprise. I miss answering the phone and hearing, “DUUUUUDE, Waaazzuppp!?!?!” He was such a class act.

I miss him needing me to look up items that he collected to help him determine their age or value, and hearing the excitement in his voice when he talked about something he truly enjoyed. I missed visiting him for Thanksgiving. I miss the way he smelled…the way he smiled…the way he laughed…the way he could look at me and I’d know exactly what he was thinking. I miss all of the life that he still had bottled up inside of him. I miss HIM. I miss everything about him.

And I feel guilty. I feel guilty for not calling him more, for being busy so often when he called me, and for not finding more time to spend with him when he was alive. I feel guilty for not finding a way to use the last few tomatoes from his garden that he left on my porch. I feel guilty for not stressing to him that I wanted him to have the heart surgery that his doctor recommended, and for not convincing him that if he had it, he’d pull through and make a remarkable recovery. I feel guilty for not checking on him sooner, for being so busy with work and my own life that I didn’t at least pick up the phone to make sure he was doing okay. I feel guilty for not being able to find my key and having to have the police break the doors of his home so I could find him. He would have been so angry at me for that. I feel guilty because he died alone and his body laid there for a day before I found him. I feel guilty for picking up a cigarette again after nearly 3 years because I didn’t know any other legal way to cope when my doctor’s office couldn’t see me for a week. I feel guilty every time I’m going through his things. He didn’t like people going through his things. I feel guilty when I look at the empty spots in his house where furniture used to sit. Where he used to sit.

I don’t know how to get through this. I’m just taking things one day at a time. It’s life. Death is a part of it, whether I like it or not. But I really don’t like it.

As much as I’m trying to move forward, I just can’t seem to get enough momentum going to make me feel like I’m actually achieving anything. I am. I know I am. I just don’t see it right now because I’ve got so much to deal with.

I’m going to end this here, as my emotions have overcome me, but I’ll be back to record more of my thoughts and feelings as I try to cope with this loss.

For anyone out there mourning the loss of a parent or loved one, my heart goes out to you. It’s a long, hard road. Don’t let it break you. Be strong. You’ll get through this, just like I will.

Much love.



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