I’m in a state of limbo where I can’t actually do anything at all. Productive or not. Regular daily activities are beyond my comprehension and it’s been this way since Christmas morning. Writing is not even within my capability at the moment, despite having so many commitments.
You see on Christmas eve we got to say goodbye to my father in law of 18 years, while he sat deathly ill in the hospital suffering after a heart attack, and he passed away mid morning on Christmas day. Even writing those words seems like I’m lying. We knew it was coming, but not quite so soon after seeing him, and the shock has not really sunk in all that well. The entire family is devastated with the loss yet we’re also very, very, non emotional. I know that’s normal but it feels like we’re being really strange.
We had a month of telling ourselves that this time he might not pull through, after repeated hospital trips, but yet no amount of preparation actually convinces you of the reality until it happens. I think it only dampens the level of shock you initially receive. Not by a great deal, but a little.
We’re all in a state of nothingness. Numb, and yet unable to function. Lacking motivation, and energy, and we all just want to sleep and sit around. I don’t want to cook, yet food doesn’t meet the appetite when I get it. The void is massive but we have not even begun to look at it. I’m in a state of disassociation, where it’s not real and it doesn’t physically hurt, but yet it clearly does because I can’t do a damn thing, except sit. Grief is a complete head mess.
He was a good man. The kindest most loving gentlemanly upright dude on the planet. He called me his daughter and welcomed me as one for the last almost two decades. He took my side and always taught me new things, like how to cook a roast, or make a soup. He was my 2nd dad in all ways. His last parting words were how clever I was and now that’s going to be ingrained for all time.
So, now what do we do? I know I have been here before when my brother died and I remember taking the steps to get through it, but it’s all a blank. Has time stopped? I don’t think so….the world seems to still be turning. I feel like we’re in a stationary train while all the others are still moving off and going on their way. I know eventually it will pull away from the station again but for now, I have no idea how to make it start.
The point of this post? There isn’t one. I’m a creative so when I need to outpour, I turn to a medium which best suits the ability. Right now, writing this is all I can do for myself. Face the reality, share with people that this is truly a loss to everyone who knew him. Stay focused on something other than empty space.
I could write all day about who he was, how great and loving. What kind of dad and grandfather. About his life, his culinary skills. His love to travel abroad and his very big list of achievements…… but it won’t bring him back. It won’t soothe and soften anything.
Christmas won’t ever be the same, but we promised him to never avoid it. To celebrate and not mourn. He didn’t want that. I hate that it’s a reminder of our own mortality and that one day I will do this same thing to my kids. That nothing we do or say can slow down time or stop death from one day meeting every one of his. How do I put those thoughts back where they belong?
Hold onto those around you. Make peace with loved ones you know you shouldn’t have pulled away from. Cherish the moments, because when it’s all done those are all you have left to remember. To live by. Money and fame doesn’t matter. You can’t take anything with you. We all leave the same way we come into this world – with nothing.
Take joy in the small things. Do the things you want and that make you happy. Stop waiting for that rainy day. Stop stalling in chasing that dream. Make that call. Reunite with that family member. Make memories.
People have more value than anything else in this world and it’s sad that society makes us forget that until the moment is too late.