Sudden death is hard to cope with, for the ones left behind. I suppose it is good for the one who leaves this earth. Going without suffering much, is ideal. I lost my father last week and it hurts immensely. We have not had the best relation, yet oddly I would always worry about this day. I guess deep down I had hopes to work things out among us, although I was not willing to do much about it. The reason that I could not bring myself to resolve things was mostly because it hurt me too much.
Then a few months ago something changed. I found myself enjoying our little chats, even calling him. I guess I should find solace that I had forgiven him before he passed, yet the pain keeps taking me over. Most of my memories with him go way back to my childhood. I was finally ready to make new memories, but he is gone now.
I find myself trying to justify the pain I feel or the fact that I loved him. I find myself telling people that I am making snow days when I am actually grieving and cannot get myself to do much. I tried to go swimming a few days ago because it usually makes me feel better. As I was in the water I found myself reminiscing that he was the one who taught me how to swim when I was only two years old. I swim a few days a week and this thought never occurred to me. Since he passed memories seem to flow.
He did not like me to swim in wavy sea waters, but one day when I was around eleven years old, I almost got drowned. The current had pulled me in and I was out of sight. He was a great swimmer, so he jumped into the water with his clothes on, to get me out. He could not find me because the waves and current kept me in. As a large wave kind of spat me out, I found myself on the shore. He was furious that I went into the water when the waves were man high and he had told me not to, but that day he explained to me theoretically how to swim in such waters, just in case it happened again, to ensure that I could survive.
“Never go against the waves, rise with them, fold with them and you will be able to go forward. Obey nature and the sea will give you way.” were his words.
He liked nature, discussions on history and theology and so do I.
He was good looking, charming, humble, and very polite; yet spoke his mind openly without sugar coating what he has to say, while managing not to offend anybody. I never heard him yell at anyone.
As a little girl I thought that he was my ally. I knew he would buy me the facial paint set that mom refused to buy (knowing that I would make a mess), which he did. Mom was the disciplinary, he was the fun daddy. If I really misbehaved, he would just say,
“I will tell your mom.”
I would object saying “No come on, you cannot do that!” In my mind we had a code of honor, we were good friends.
He had taught me how to play poker when I was six or seven. I have no idea how to play now, I completely forgot, but at the time he let me win each and every time. Of course as a little girl, I was so sure that I was beating him and that I was a terrific card player.
One day as we were walking down the street, he told me that I could go to him whenever I had a problem, no matter what my problem was. I was probably seven years old and had just started school when this conversation occurred.
I said “OK” after a small moment of silence, I asked
“Daddy what’s a problem?”
He laughed and told me that as I grew up, I may come across situations when I do not know what to do and that I would never need to hide them from him. I should just go to him and he would help me.
As a child I desired to have a problem to share with him, it seemed like a privileged situation, where I would be sharing a secret with him.
Sadly later in life, he was the last person that I ever felt that I could go to when I encountered a troubled situation. However, recently I had realized that whenever we spoke, his calm voice was calming me too.
When I received the call last week that informed me that he had passed in the morning I found myself bursting into tears hysterically. I did not know what to do with myself, nor called anyone. My mother has a way of feeling me; she popped by unannounced and found me in tears. She tried to ease my pain. It has only been a week, so the sudden crying crises kick in at the least expected moments, but I know that time is the only thing that can help relieve the pain. I have to wait it out.
Meanwhile I have puppies who naturally have no idea of what goes on in my life, who cry when hungry, distract me by being naughty and kiss me relentlessly which in fact helps. My grown doggies make me go out and walk in the freezing weather because they need to relieve themselves, which is good because not much else could get me out the door for a leisurely walk these days. Since they enjoy the snow, they take their time too. They must feel my sorrow as they do not much leave my side, especially Shylo. He is always right by my side these days. Work continues as usual. Actually I had to attend work matters the day I got the news, as the next day. It made me wonder how people manage to grieve by putting things on hold. Silence seemed more painful the first two days. I know time will help me, ease my sorrows.
In movies death always causes people to see things with a new perspective. I realized that it is true. Putting things off when there are emotions involved is really not a good idea. We really do not know what’s next. So I find myself more expressive of my affection, even towards those who might not so much suspect it….