Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dealing with Grief...

It has been a very long time since I've posted on here and I've been wanting to do it for a while now. A long while.
I make no excuses. I don't offer any. I'm sorry for not posting.
I wanted to share that I lost my father in May this year. My brothers and I had to make the very difficult decision of taking him off of life support. I have so many mixed feelings.
My father had something called vascular dementia which impaired his judgment and made him difficult to deal with. He moved several states away, about 10 years ago, after my mother died. I think it may have been more difficult to deal with because I didn't get to see him too often because of the distance.
Although my brother who lived near him would tell me much of what was going on, it was still hard to accept these gradual changes and decline within him. I love my dad, always did and always will.
I guess it is something that's kind of like the winter holidays when people get together and want things to be happy like on TV, in the movies or our own idealized version of what family get-togethers "should" be. Then when the actual event happens. reality happens. There are tensions between relatives or things just don't seem to be the way we wanted them or fantasized about.
It was like that visiting my dad. Due to a stroke he had almost 20 years before, his own stubborn personality/independence streak, lack of judgement and whatever else due to his vascular dementia; he became unpredictable, more cantankerous, less patient and less in control of a temper he didn't have when he was younger. It created some tension and made visits difficult. I wanted time that we spent together to be special, but it didn't happen too much. I would always end up feeling disappointed. In hindsight, at times anyways, at this point, I can look back and know that this was just the way things were and he was "sick".
When my grandmother got seriously ill and actually had to be revived and in the ICU, she actually had another 8 years of a happy life. I felt it was a gift from God because she didn't have a great life for several years before she had become ill. I guess I also wished for that for my dad. I think he was sad, depressed and lonely dealing with his deficits and losses. I wished he had that special time.
When I was away from him I would miss him despite his crankiness. I hope that he is at peace and happy now. The good thing is that he is with my mom.
I don't know how to end this. I don't have anything creative to say or end this with. Grieving has many facets and is an ongoing process. We can't speed it up or slow it down. It is something that has to be done though. It helps keep our lives from stopping.
I will share more about this in the future as this goes on. Thanks for reading this. I hope that life is going well for you.
Thanks for reading!
Mary Ellen