Monday, November 8, 2010

Better Said Than Done

Yesterday I visited Fort Custer National Cemetery for the first time since Memorial Day.  I knew I was going to drive past it on my way to a friend's house and I felt compelled to visit.  I visited Dad's grave.  I am really missing him lately.  More so than normal.  I know it's because this time last year I was helpless watching him die.  I believe that I'm having a harder time now dealing with his death than I did last year.  Maybe because it seemed so surreal back then.  I was there to keep everything under control.  I was so busy taking care of everyone else's feelings and needs that I didn't have time to grieve.  Well...the reality has hit me now.

I thought if I visited his grave stone I would feel better...but I didn't.  He's not there.  Yes, his cremated remains are there but HE IS NOT THERE!  I don't feel anything when I visit.  He still resides in my heart and I can't let him go.  I'm trying so hard but I can't separate myself from him.  I find that I talk to him everywhere I go but I am still waiting for him to answer.  When I stood there at Fort Custer I just felt empty...and sad.

It's not that he was just my father, maybe that would be easier for me.  He was my best friend.  I miss our daily, yes daily, phone calls.  I miss his laugh and he odd sense of humor.  I miss the comfort I felt as I talked to him.  Nobody can ever replace him...nobody should ever try.  My husband has been a wonderful support and has been super understanding but Dad just had a way of keeping me calm. 

I'm finding that I don't like my own company.  The more time I spend alone the more depressed I get.  My mind just start working with thoughts that drive me into a frenzy of anxiety. All those years I turned to food for comfort....well, I can't do that anymore.  I'm allergic to those foods.  I know, I have to "Man Up" but that's easier said than done.

I wish I could find where Dad is.  If he's not at the cemetery then where is he?  I can't keep walking around with him in my heart because it hurts so much.  My friend, Carla, gave us a Blue Spruce last year to plant here at the farm in memory of Dad.  We planted it and we are waiting to find the right boulder to put the lovely plaque she had made by the stone.  I look at the tree...he's not there.  My sister had a voicemail on her phone for the longest time.  She kept re-saving it.  It was the final phone call she got from Dad when he still felt good.  Hearing his makes me cry just thinking about it.

Well....I just needed to get that off my chest.  After I left the cemetery I did go on to my friend's house and I spent a wonderful afternoon with friends which helped but I can't do that every day.  I wish I could find peace with his death.  I wish I could just let go.   I just want the pain that my heart feels to ease.  I need to move forward. I need to keep the memories of Dad as memories and just move on...but I can't.


  1. I can't begin to imagine the pain of losing a parent, but my heart goes out to you. I can't give you any advice or comfort, but I can tell you that your pain is heard and felt and wish you all the best in this really difficult time. I hope you find a way through it all.

  2. So glad you decided to post about this. "Talking" helps, and every little bit counts. I lost my Dad this time three years ago, and I get everything you are saying. I can't say it's gotten easier, but the bouts of heartbreak have gotten...less frequent. Just wanted to let you know :)

  3. My dad died when I was 19. I still miss him and mourn the loss of his presence in my adult life and in my kids lives. The only way my children know my father is through the stories I tell.

    I took a trip to his grave on the one year anniversary of his death and sort of had the same experience you described. I've never been back because I realize that there are more meaningful ways for me personally to connect with him.

    I have now lived more years without my father than I had with him. The pain does change over time. In the meantime, keep sharing and know that you have a reader who cares and wishes she could ease your pain.

  4. I lost my dad when I was a young mother. My son had just turned 4 and my daughter was only 6 months old. It was very sudden and it hurt sooo bad for what seems like so very long. It's been many years now and my children have grown and know him through stories and photos. I've not been to his grave in several years because I no longer live nearby..but I do go when I am there. I too feel the same emptiness when I visit and since 2000 my mother is there beside him.

    We have such different relationships with each parent and I miss them both dearly, but it was my fathers sudden death that was worse for me. I still have the sweatshirt I was wearing that day, white with snowmen on it. I can't let it go. One day you will be OK with it. Keep talking .. it does help... we do listen and share your sadness.

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. This will be a hard holiday season. Dad died on December 5th last year so I am still raw with emotion.

    Yesterday, I went to a funeral visitation for a friend who lost her mother to liver cancer. Another friend, the same week, lost her brother to liver/pancreatic cancer. My heart broke for them and their families but also new the relief they were feeling and the peace that their loved one was no longer suffering.

    I walked into the funeral home and broke down. There I was supposed to be supporting her and she was hugging me and telling me it would be ok. That's friendship.

    My sister called me yesterday too. We talked for a long time. I time goes the pain will lessen but the hurt is so strong now.