As a preface for those who don’t know, my father passed away about a month ago. I’ve struggled with finding the right words to say, because (as I’m sure anyone who has experienced something like this knows) no words really seem to be enough.
But, unfortunately for you all, I don’t currently have a therapist to discuss these types of things with. So, I guess in its own way, this blog is essentially like my therapist. (Or would that make you guys my therapists? If that’s the case, you aren’t doing a very good job and should consider a change of profession.)
Anyway, I’m sure this pretty much goes without saying, but this isn’t the funny type of blog post we usually aim for here at Wine and Zoloft. I just strung together some thoughts I’ve written down over the past month or so because I am, at my core, a masochist. That being said, I would not blame you at all if you decided to skip this one. Kthxbyeeee.
Today has been a month since I last saw my dad. Or will ever see him again. The thought that it has only been a month for some reason is almost kind of comforting. But knowing that each milestone, two months, six months, one year, twenty years, will serve as it’s own painful reminder of time passed carries a weight that has already begun to crush me.
The Stages of Grief- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.
The first stage of grief is supposed to be denial, which is when you initially lie to yourself and pretend that this horrible thing that happened didn’t happen. It’s weird, but I kind of feel like I’m experiencing these “stages” in reverse and I’m only just now entering the denial stage.
Now that things have slowed down, and now that all the terrible logistical aspects of death that I was ill preparedfor are dealt with (re: I don’t know if y’all realize, but the burial process is EXPENSIVE. When I die, please just gracefully lower me into a hole in the backyard, so you all can let me down one last time. I don’t even care whose backyard it is.) I think part of me somewhere subconsciously expected things to go back to normal. As if I would reach the two-month mark, or maybe even the three-month mark, and my dad would be back like he never left. And we’d be able to talk again, and laugh again, and I’d look down at my phone and see an incoming phone call from him, and I’d breathe a sigh of relief, and finally be able to come up for air. I know rationally that that isn’t going to happen, but it just isn’t connecting. And I’m not sure if I ever really want it to.
One of the most aggravating things is knowing that I would give anything to see my dad again. To talk to him again, even if it was just one more time. It wouldn’t even have to be about anything important. The weather, the Giants sucking this year, some stupid commercial he saw on TV.
I’ve always been afraid to really try at things my entire life because I’ve been afraid that I’d fail, so I can honestly say I almost never give anything 100%. But knowing that in this instance, even if I were to finally give my all, everything I have, it still wouldn’t be enough to change anything reaaally pisses me off.
“During the bargaining stage of grief, an individual typically tries to negotiate with themselves, people around them, or with a higher power topostpone or undo the inevitable and/or lessen intense bereavement emotions.”
It’s hard to explain but now, more than ever, I just feel like a sad clown. (I can’t for the life of me recall where I heard that reference but it’s always one that stuck with me.) The more pain I feel (or stifle) the better performance I give. I can hear myself saying words, but it’s almost like I’m listening to someone else talk.
Even when I run into people and they offer their condolences, I just find myself reading off the same script that I have memorized. “I’m okay. Every day is different. It comes in waves. It was just such a shock, you know?” But the words just don’t feel right leaving my mouth. Maybe in its own way, this is my way of bargaining. Bargaining with myself that if I’m funnier, or louder, or more irreverent, I can stay in denial for just a little while longer (see stage 1)
Fear is not one of the five stages of grief, but I clearly haven’t hit the “acceptance” stage yet and I think fear is something I’m struggling the most with.
I’m afraid of a lot of things. I’m afraid of not remembering the sound of his voice. I’m afraid that I won’t see his face in my dreams anymore. And theres one thing that I’m most afraid of, which I guess I have every right to be. I am afraid that I will love him forever, and that we will never be in the same room again. Because we won’t.
Fear Part Deux-
The aunt that I live with is known for having a flock of birds that she routinely feeds in her yard, similar to that of the bird lady from Home Alone, only not homeless and more frightening. Anyway, the morning that my father passed away an unprecedented red cardinal appeared in the yard and began chirping nonstop. That same afternoon, that same red cardinal was in front of her house, chirping so loudly you could hear it clearly with the windows still closed.
According to Ask Jeeves, “The idea that cardinals — or a redbirds — are “messengers” from departed loved ones has been around for a long time, with many people believe seeing a cardinal is a “sign” that those who have passed are with us in spirit.”
This sign, to some, would probably be interpreted positively and provide a sense of comfort. But for me, it only brings a pain in my chest and a lump in my throat. The thought that my dad is somewhere out there, calling out to one of his daughters, but unable to make contact is truly just fucking heart wrenching. What if he really is watching? Wishing he was still here, wishing things would have been different. And in my own way I’ve become so afraid that I’m missing his messages and his attempts to reach out that I haven’t wanted to hear them at all anymore. I’d rather keep the windows closed.
Okay I’ve waxed and waned poetically for long enough. We’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming next week. Thanks.
#grief #grieving #sadness #death #familydeath #deathofalovedone #dad #denial #anger #bargaining #fear #acceptance #psychology #cardinal #redbird #depression
2 responses to “The Stages of Grief”
Grief doesn’t go away it just gets different.i just saw this and I want to send you big hugs and suggest your dad is there now…birds or no birds. Talk to him. Ask questions. You already know the answers. Feel him as a little different. You have LAbig beautiful eyes. They are now for reminding you of the past. Photos, calenders,your visual memory of him.
Now…you LAbig beautiful heart and feel him hearing you and quietly answering you. Feeling that is new and never will be lost. Ypu grew a new communication method. Now, because reminded by old friend, you will adapt and feel your dad. He must have been so proud of you before but now you jump a quantum level.
Not kidding LaVon!!!
He saw you read a book on marketing and you pivoted into awesome immediately.
Say hello for me and tell your dad he did a great job teaching you.
Congrats at your new beginning. If you get stuck. I offer to be your LaHelper
You can do this with him. Just ask and feel him answering. You are so skilled. So brave and now you got this to prove it to yourself. Cannot fail. You’ve already won. You and your dad came through.
Rachel~ I just wanted to say that I love your dad and you girls so much and I think of him and miss him always. I know you know but I love you girls so very much and I will always be here for you if you need someone to make you crazy🤍😘