I walked beside my dad for over two years through his battle against cancer. That’s over. The service was painstakingly planned and was a success. That’s over. Now what?
So much of my last couple years revolved around my dad. During his hard times, I helped care for him and take him to appointments. During his good times, we hung out and took every opportunity to spend time together, not knowing what the next bend in the road would bring. And before he got the cancer diagnosis, we talked on the phone on a regular basis. I saw him at least twice a week. We lived life together. He was intertwined with my daily life. I was so lucky, so blessed.
I am young. I have so much road ahead of me. But now without my dad. I don’t even know what that looks like. What is my life without my dad… the one who has been there since the moment I took my first breath?
There is a great disconnect with my head and my heart. I know it is normal to lose a parent. I know that I have my husband, my kids, my mom, and others that are close that will journey thru life with me. I know that laughter will outshine the tears. I know that there will be a new normal in my life and that I will be fine. I know that God uses all things for good, that there is a purpose to everything under the sun. I know all this. I KNOW all of this. The great disconnect is that I don’t always FEEL these things.
My husband’s grandma died a while back. One of his aunties was telling me that she would want to scream at people. She was so flabbergasted… how can these people be going about their daily lives when her mom died? How is the world still turning? How is life going on? HER MOM DIED!!!
Anyone’s HEAD would tell them that those thoughts are absurd. Of course the world is still chugging right along, oblivious to the loss. But the heart doesn’t know any better.
I ask ‘now what’ not because I’m looking for something to do. I have plenty to do… a house renovation, a family, a living room full of photo boards and other stuff from the service that needs to be put away. I have a job, and a to-do list a mile long. I have goals and ambitions. I’m just stuck. I’m not sure how to take that next step to navigate all this stuff with the hurt that dwells so prominently in my heart.
Yesterday was the first day in a very long time at work that I didn’t need to do anything for my dad. It was actually nice to focus on work and really get some stuff done. But it was also tinged with some guilt. I think those that have experienced the loss of someone close can relate to that, and those that haven’t, cannot begin to understand.
I feel the pressure to be done with my grief. Where does this pressure come from? I think that people will start to judge me. That I’m still crying over my dad… it’s not like it was my husband or a child. I feel like I need to justify myself… we were closer than most parents with their adult child. This is a just another weird part of the journey I suppose. As not ONE person has said or indicated feeling these things. So many new feelings, such turmoil inside of me. Playing tricks on my senses. Drawing me from one end of the spectrum to the other in seconds.
I KNOW that my ‘now what’ is one step at a time. It’s getting out of bed and just doing what I need to do. I KNOW everything will fall into place. I need to cling to what I KNOW, when what I FEEL is pulling me into a darkness that I never lived in when my dad was here. And if I never lived there when my dad was here… I shouldn’t live there with his memory either.