It’s like my grief came back full circle. I reverted back to the first days and weeks after my dad died. I have felt all the emotions this last weekend.
Who (tries) to keep it together while portraying that everything is fine? 🙋🏼♀️ Who hides the grief so that they feel no one has to go out of their way to help? 🙋🏼♀️ Who wishes they don’t have to deal with this awful, annoying, frustrating, exhausting grief? 🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️
We were raised (in my generation at least) to hide feelings, and not reach out for help. If we ask for help, or talk about our struggles, we come off as whiny, and not strong enough. Changing those imbedded unhealthy coping skills is hard.
I don’t write about my struggles for sympathy. Actually, it’s hard to write about it at times, because I don’t want anyone to pity me. But I know I am being petty thinking that.
Saturday morning I felt that a grief tornado was coming. I thought I could hold it off, change the direction of the storm, by keeping busy. As we all know, when a storm comes into our lives, it does not leave until it touches down and does some damage.
I was working on my room, taking apart my bed. I was getting frustrated that I couldn’t take it apart. That’s when the tornado of grief touched down and the flood gates opened, so to speak. I absolutely, with all my might, could not stop crying.
Thoughts started running through my head. Thunderstorms of grief came clapping down like the noise of angry thunder. Just pounding in my head, the thoughts of, ‘why did you leave me? I am SO MAD at you!’ I may have used a hammer and laid into my bed frame. I was so angry that he left me! Was I not good enough? I laid on the ground just crying. My sweet boy who was helping me ran to get his daddy because he knew something was wrong. My husband came in and I couldn’t even explain what was wrong, in between my sobs. Then I was so mad that I couldn’t stop crying! I can be a tad stubborn too.
I propped myself up, tried to quiet the loud thunder in my head, and wrote what was on my mind. ‘Why? Why did you go? I mean I know you struggled. I wanted to help. I wanted my love to be good enough. Good enough to get you out of your funk. I wanted to be enough for you daddy. You taught me how to me a woman in a man’s world. You were so upset when I was harassed at a job site because I am a woman. Like I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to do engineering. Or construction jobs. You stuck up for me. So why wasn’t I good enough for you now? Why was my love for you not good enough that you had to leave? We still had so much time left. Time to talk about life. To tell you about all the things that I am doing, hoping you’d be proud of me. You never said I couldn’t do it, like mom did. You always rooted for me.’
I related to my dad. He was the one I talked to about life. He ALWAYS rooted for me no matter what. Once I told him I wanted to be a mechanic. His friend told me I wouldn’t last, but my dad didn’t. He really taught me how to be a woman in a man’s world. I went into mechanical engineering after high school. I was 1 of 5 girls in a class of 150 students. It was intimidating. But my dad had faith in me. He was proud of me.
So why did he leave? Was he not proud of me anymore? I so badly just want to call him and talk to him. Tell him I’ve been watching the civil war videos he used to watch on repeat when I was a kid. He even played the soundtrack in the truck whenever we had errands to run. Oh how annoying it was back then! He would just chuckle, knowing how many eye rolls I gave him and how many times I would say, ‘not again! We just watched this!’. I would give anything to watch those videos with him again.
Grief makes me angry. So angry. And it can be so very lonely. My family doesn’t understand what I am truly going through. No one truly knows the deep relationship my dad and I had. I don’t have that anymore. I don’t have my dad and it’s literally heartbreaking.
My eyes are swollen and my brain has been in a fog since this last weekend. But I can feel the storm lifting a little. There’s some light peaking through the storm clouds.
I share all of this vulnerable, dark side of grief because I don’t want anyone to feel alone. That popular quote we so often see, fits in well here: ‘Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’
It’s so true. Be kind. When you see someone who’s a little rough around the edges, be kind. Or a mother out with her loud kids, be kind. And a senior citizen who looks lonely, be kind. We don’t know everyone’s story, but I can tell you most have a complicated one.
Just. Be. Kind. ❤️