I thought that I was going to be okay. But I wasn't.
I helped with the printing of the programs. Helping felt good. It was sad, but feeling useful was good for me.
Yesterday was my dad's memorial service in South Carolina. There were a lot of eleven's yesterday that will forever remain significant to me. The memorial service started at the beginning of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 2011. I wanted to go, but our financial situation is not favorable for lots of travel. I decided that I would travel later to the Inurnment. That way, my kids could join us, too.
I counted down the hours to the service; then counted down the minutes. I was a scatterbrained mess. Focusing on any task was next to impossible. I just couldn't do it. I tried shopping for a few things, but I ended up putting the items back on the shelves and walking out of the store without spending a penny. I cried so many tears. This makes me worry about the final piece...the burial. I hope I can keep it together.
I listened to Avril Lavigne's Slipped Away about ten times. I spent a significant amount of time watching Muppets snippets on YouTube. (My dad LOVED The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock!) I listened to "The Point" by Harry Nilsson twice.
I have been showered with a lot of love. That has been wonderful. I have had so many of my friends whom I have never met in person reach out in such loving support. It truly makes up for the cold shoulder others have given since I received the diagnosis in July. Cancer isn't contagious! Why did some of my friends desert me in my hour of need? I couldn't believe some of the insensitivity I witnessed! I know that each human being precesses death and grief differently. I am so thankful for the friends who have stood by me asking for Skype sessions even though my eyelids are purple and blistered from the copious amounts of salty tears that have washed over them and been wiped away. And the friends who have offered me such loving advice for coping with this pain. And for the encouragement to use this experience to grow. I am not able to accept it as that just yet. Maybe soon?
My guess is that this is only the beginning...I can see that this grief journey is going to be a long one. For now, I need to feel it. I need to cry. I need to move through this at my own pace. My mom tells me this painful sting never goes away. Never?!?! This is the most excruciating thing I have ever endured. The grief I felt with my divorce was painful. The grief I felt from the death of my grandmother was painful. This grief is beyond comprehension. I wonder if I will ever recover!
I could feel it. In July, when my dad got the diagnosis, I could feel that everything was being completely rewritten. My stories, my identity, my history, my future....EVERYTHING! This experience has truly been life changing. I don't like it! I don't want to accept it.
I don't have a choice!
Now, I face a year of firsts! First Thanksgiving (without Dad), First Christmas (without Dad).