14 August 2006

To My Readers

This is going to be a rough week for me, as Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of my father’s death. Not sure if I’ll be posting much, or what I’ll write if I do post.

I’ve recently realized, through the help of friends, that I didn’t fully grieve for my dad last summer. I went back to work too early. I shoved a lot of the grief deep down so that I could maintain some semblance of a normal life (or fool you into thinking I was back to normal). I didn't cry and rage and shake my fist at the heavens as much as I needed. I wanted to be strong, to make OM proud. But now, one year later, that grief has festered. And, unfortunately, festered grief manifests itself through anger and depression.

And I am angry. Angry at God for putting my dad through so much pain, so much fear, for robbing him of his dignity in those final weeks. Angry at that son of a bitch of a surgeon, the one who stopped caring once he found that the tumor was inoperable, who casually gave us that horrific news in a room full of staring people, that bastard who simply forgot about OM and left him in the hospital for days longer than was necessary. I know this rage is unreasonable, and I’ll forgive God one day soon (but not the surgeon). I couldn’t voice this anger to anyone until a few days ago … so if I can finally say it, maybe I’m beginning to work through it.

You, dear readers, have been a great source of support when I’ve written about my loss. Your comments, concerns, and shared stories have kept me from feeling alone, and you’ve been a great virtual shoulder for me to lean on. It’s a wonderful little community we have on this page, full of caring, funny, interesting people. Hopefully, as we get to the other side of this week, we’ll see a return to the silly posts common to this blog.

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23 Comments:

At 8/14/2006 03:40:00 AM, Blogger barista brat said...

my thoughts are with you.

i think it's good for you to express your anger - especially in regards to the doctor. it seems many of them forget their oath and have now become cynically blase about their profession and those they come into contact with.

it may sound strange (or even naive) but sometimes i think the more "well rounded" a person you are, the more profoundly you grieve.

hugs and well wishes to you.

 
At 8/14/2006 07:00:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, Brat. I'm ready to get through the grief. It was a relief to write this post, to get it off my chest. Maybe that means I'll get through the week ...

 
At 8/14/2006 08:17:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Grieve as much as you need to and as hard as you must. The silly surrounds you like a good pie crust.

 
At 8/14/2006 08:50:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Hey Beth,

I know he's with you all the time and all he wants is for you to remember him with a smile.

Take care
Ben

 
At 8/14/2006 08:52:00 AM, Blogger Marni said...

Big hugs from me, Carl and the kids. We love you.

 
At 8/14/2006 10:02:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

I'd say it's normal to be angry. You'll come to terms with all of it in time. And like I've said before - it sounds trite to say, "You'll always have the memories", but you will. The people we love live forever in our memories. So remember the good times, the bad, and everything inbetween. Cry as much as you need to. Curse as loud as it takes. You're a strong woman and you'll work it all out. You just need some time.

 
At 8/14/2006 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

As trite as it sounds, hang in there.

 
At 8/14/2006 11:01:00 AM, Blogger Old Lady said...

Use this experience to learn from. In dealing with my parents and their illness I learned that once the sentence is passed the family does have options. Though difficult, the doctors are human and don't always deal well with death. Forgiveness will help to release the anger. Take this time, when you are feeling and thinking about it to discuss this with your mother. Find out what her wishes are and make plans for living wills and do not resusitate documents.

I think that what bothers us most is 2 fold. We cannot control the outcome, nor can we speed the process. Being with someone who is dying is an honor and a priviledge that few of us will be called on to par take of. Second is the reality that we too may die this way.

Doctors will do any and everything they can until the body wears out. Once that happens it is time for the family to put aside their lives for the short while, and assist and comfort the dying. Tell them it is ok to go. Love them into their final rest. Be with them when leave.

Death is a part of life and you were very lucky to be able to be with your father to assist him to his next step, to comfort him and to love him.

Your writing about him is a good thing. You need to let the anger and grief out so that you can be happy again.

Peace!

 
At 8/14/2006 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous paul said...

I know completely whereof you speak. All you can do is push through. Give me a heads-up if you need anything.

 
At 8/14/2006 01:42:00 PM, Blogger jo(e) said...

Deep grief comes in stages. Sometimes it doesn't rise to the surface until we are ready to handle it. Sounds like you are.

Your anger seems perfectly reasonable to me. I'll be thinking of you as you make it through this difficult week.

 
At 8/14/2006 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Jamey said...

I will be thinking about you and praying for you. Love, Jamey

 
At 8/14/2006 03:25:00 PM, Blogger haahnster said...

We can have the surgeon eliminated. I know people in Chicago that would be happy to get the job done for a nominal fee. Just give the word.

Until then, grieve as needed. We can wait for silliness to return in due time.

 
At 8/14/2006 03:28:00 PM, Anonymous bookfraud said...

the one-year anniversary of my father's death was in May. being jewish, we had an unveiling ceremony -- my mother went to pieces, and all of our energy was on comforting her. but i was fortunate in that i grieved when he died. you have to go through it on your own terms. i (am) still angry at the hospital, which i feel was negligent. the anger is the hardest thing to let go of...

 
At 8/14/2006 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Positive vibes are headed your way as I type this. I hope you can find some peace during this tough time.

 
At 8/14/2006 07:59:00 PM, Anonymous rcofchs said...

Beth,
I don't think anyone ever gets over the loss of a father they loved. Your feelings are normal and healthy.
You may think I am crazy, but the pain from my fathers death was eased on the one year anniversary of his death. I was out of town on business and woke up in my hotel room after a dream that was so real. In the dream my father walked into the kitchen of my old condominium and told me he was fine, not to worry and that he was everywhere. From that dream I now believe heaven may be an all knowing eternal concsioucness.
It gives me comfort that my father may still be able to see me even if I cannot see him.

 
At 8/14/2006 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous glassmeow said...

Hang in there indeed. You can't let go of the anger until you acknowledge it and let it out. It really does eventually leave and all you have left are the memories. Sounds like the memories you have of your Dad are all good ones.

 
At 8/15/2006 12:00:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Even though I'm new here I'd like to send my best wishes. .

Take all the time you need. Write or don't write about anything or nothing. Whatever gives you consolation. We out here in cyber land aren't going anywhere.

 
At 8/15/2006 01:32:00 AM, Blogger Mob said...

Wow, what a heavy post to come into your blog on. I can completely understand the whole anger thing, it was actually my first response over my father's death, and I turned my back on my faith for over 8 years before finally finding a semblance of comfort with my feeling towards religion and God again. It sounds like you are making a lot of progress to realize the state of things in only a year. Best of luck with your processing of things, rage all you need to, and know that you obviously have many people concerned for you.

 
At 8/15/2006 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

After the grief comes relief. And the recognition that the greatest gift we have is our memories.

For those are the true windows to our souls.

 
At 8/15/2006 02:36:00 PM, Blogger shewearsplaid said...

My father died on November 19, 2005. And Lord, it has been quite a low year. Now I need to read your blog from beginning to end, so that I can feel less alone when I face the days when my throat closes and my eyes burn with missing him.

 
At 8/16/2006 08:33:00 AM, Blogger Shroom-Monkey said...

I'm a little late on this one but I am very sorry for your loss.... I lost my Grandfather after a complication during surgery last November. It was much harder to handle than I had anticipated.. But share the stories, preserve the memories and keep his spirit with you, always...

 
At 8/17/2006 04:00:00 PM, Blogger bigshoulders said...

i'm lifting you up today, Beth.
my thoughts are w/ you.

b.s.

 
At 8/20/2006 12:29:00 PM, Blogger pixie said...

sorry to hear about your dad. it's good to grieve. get it all out. chin up.
pixie

 

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