I’ve been struggling yet again with grief. Another heavy wave of it that is.
Over the weekend I experienced enjoying more than half of each day without heartache. For the first time in two weeks. It almost seemed as if miraculously I had found the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
Of course, that wasn’t the case when the winds of another emotional storm started blowing in on Monday.
Grief is like having an invisible illness. Somedays you feel good. Other days you can’t get out of bed. Seeking comfort from others is wonderful but they can only do so much. People can give you all the chicken noodle soup, the hugs, the motivational speeches, they can hold you, they comfort you, and they could even give you the world but it doesn’t completely pull that illness out of you.
Yesterday I got a call from a lawyer’s office. As it turns out my Dad made me at least one beneficiary of his will. This shattered my heart and reopened my wounds for a big reason.
I’m not my dad’s daughter by blood. He met my mom when I was two and was there for me every step of the way along the way of growing up. Even if my mom and he often had long on and off again toxic breakups and makeups. That loyalty and the world he provided me really became the sun in my sky for the longest time. He made good money. Kept himself in shape and fashionable. He was an amazing cook. Our house always had one of his friends over – to me he was the coolest. However, my Dad had always been a pretty big drinker. Then apparent depression kicked in around ten years ago. In those ten years, he went downhill big time. Drug use started and only increased. Drinking was all day every day. He went through multiple suicide attempts, he was in and out of institutions, he got in trouble at his work of 30+ years. You know, or you might- the song and dance of the addict giving up on life. Two years ago I cut him out of my life when he added amphetamines to his alcohol and pills cocktail. He began to go delusional & more destructive and so I said the cruelest & coldest thing I’d ever said to him to push him out of my life. At that moment it felt as if I had ripped my own heart out as I tossed him out of my life. I was so sick of having hope he’d get better and I accepted that he wouldn’t.
As my dad got more mentally sick he got angrier with the world. And at me and his family. He never physically hurt us but he lashed in such a way you would walk away feeling like a parasite in his life. For a long, he would try to make it up to us after these episodes with his excellent cooking or a little bit of money – but at some point that angry mood he was in stayed permanent. Because of this internal rage, I thought he would become more spiteful and take my name off anything he ever intended on giving me. It was another form of acceptance I had to get through in my world that my “Dad chapter” and anything after him would leave.
Getting that phone call from the lawyers sliced my heart open. My dad had promised when I was young that when he was gone that he would make sure that I got taken care of financially. For as much as he could provide. Hearing that he kept his promise gave me have a million flashbacks of him making that promise to me. Mostly during the times we would drive down a sunset-colored road and had our deep talks. In his living life, he always wanted to make sure that I was okay, and just as badly he wanted to make sure I would be okay without him.
In the end, he lived in a shell of a home. A former large home with a majestic and pristine 80’s flair had been reduced to somewhere where it was recommended by inspectors to wear a hazmat suit if you went into it. A few of his homeless friends still live there.
And so with literally nothing left to give I guess he had kept to his word of keeping something going for me though at this point I’m not sure what as I meet with the lawyers next week.
He kept his promise that he would always love me and be there for me. I realize more than ever I didn’t keep my promise that I’d do the same for him when I abandoned him.
And now that he has taken his life – I’ll never get a chance to tell him that I never stopped loving him and I’m sorry that I ever made him feel that he wasn’t worth sticking around for.