Sunday, August 23, 2009

Missed Opportunities

If this statement (to the left) is correct, then true healing is a long way off for me. I have trouble with "allowing" any emotion, let alone "thorough allowing."

I am sitting on the couch. The lights are off and I'm writing in the glow of the laptop monitor. Darkness makes it easier to hide the tears. There is a storm raging outside and I can hear the rain pouring down, see the flashes of lightening illuminating the sky and feel the thunder shake the house as it echoes off the mountains. A great ambiance for my mood.

I'm reading a handout on "Grief*" that my T gave me. I have been given it before to read and work through with respect to my relationship with my mother -- learning to grieve the relationship we will never have. That was a few years ago. Now I'm working through it with the loss of my father.

The book talks about "A Violation of the Rules." We expect the universe to follow certain rules - children bury their parents when they are old; people who love each other should be together; the funeral service is a recognition of your place in the deceased's world; the burial provides closure.

My dad's death and service was a massive FUBAR - typical for the rest of the relationships and major events in my life.

Normal Families - I get the call that Dad had a major stroke. I rush to get on a plane or drive to the hospital. I'm there, with family, around his bedside as he passes away. I spend the final moments saying all the goodbyes. Sympathy cards come. Words of encouragement. Phone calls expressing support. I am given leave from work. Everyone knows what happens and surrounds me with love and support. Everyone knows why my face is sad and I'm edgy and down. People know that Father's Day and other holidays may be tough this year. At the funeral, there are hugs and support. Family rallies around to support each other. There is laughter and tears.

My Family - I find out about his death in line at Walmart on facebook. I have to make the phone calls, half of which are not returned. No acknowledgment of who I am or what I've lost. I'm told to stay away. I can't really tell people what is going on because then I have to explain why I'm not going to the funeral. I say, "my dad died" and people get all mushy which is both nice and aggravating. I tell them "we had no relationship" and they look at me funny. I've lost the grieving time, the time off work, the ability to break down without appearing crazy. I can't get the support because it requires too much explanation. I don't get to go to the funeral. I've lost my rightful place as his daughter - as a daughter who has lost her father. People look at me like "eh you never had a relationship with him so what's the big deal?" As usual, the refrain is "get over it and move on."

I want my time. I want my turn to be the grieving daughter. I want my turn to lose it - to be angry and sad and whatever. I'm tired of missing out on what others have.

*Grief - Liam & Precious Atchison - NavPress c. 1993.


Mike Golch said...

well there are times that I did not get along with Mom and Dad,but I really grieved when they both dies.Dad went way too young(58)in 1984.Mom was 77 when she died in 2003.

lawyerchik said...

Take it, Enola. Take the time you need, take your turn - you need it, take it. You don't have to wait for permission to do this.


prochaskas said...

what lawyerchik said.

Kahless said...

what Lawyerchick said.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Oh, Enola! I'm so sorry. I do know, somewhat, how this feels. Like when my grandmother got sick suddenly and died. Nobody told me but my mother got to say what a bad granddaughter I was at her funeral when I wasn't there because I didn't know.


It's like we don't get the chance for folks to come over and bring us casseroles because we're too grief stricken to cook. Where are OUR casseroles, huh? If you lived by me, I'd bring you over a cozy, hot, comforting casserole just to show you I understand and I care.

jumpinginpuddles said...

i still miss my mum it doesnt ever stop i wish it did, i had some time with her but it wasnt a normal funeral everything was so strange

hearttoheart said...

you'll never ever hear me say to you "get over it." or anything remotely like it. I just finished both this post and the next one where you talk about a two face God. I hear lots of honest questions. your friend. DM

Labyrinth said...

My mother died a year ago. We did not have a good relationship; it was cordial, but that's about it. I just finished a grief class. I thought I was going to be grieving the mom I never had... instead, or perhaps also... I find there's a mountain of other grief behind it.

I wish you well in your healing... it takes as long as it takes, and looks the way it looks.

April_optimist said...

I think we get to claim the right to grieve when and where we choose--and no one has the right to say otherwise. There IS a lot to grieve when one was abused as a child. ((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))