Monday, September 1, 2008

Feeling the affects

The death of a loved one certainly has various emotions, at least for me it has. I think up until my dad's service on August 23rd, I was just numb still and going through the motions of existing in my world again without my dad. It wasn't too hard to jump back into my daily routine of taking care of the kids, the house, etc. Before my dad got sick we didn't see each other often or even talk on the phone for that matter so it wasn't such a shock to my immediate daily life except I wasn't going to visit him anymore and I missed him. After the service, it was different. The morning of I found myself very emotional and able to cry easily. Before that I hadn't cried since the evening my dad passed away. The memorial was everything I could have wanted for my dad and more. It brought me great relief and closure, both of which I needed desperately. Seeing all those people there in one room to honor my dad and hear all the wonderful stories they shared, it really was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

In the days that followed (I almost wrote weeks because it has felt like weeks since the memorial) I found myself feeling many things. Sad, relieved, anxious, overwhelmed, lonely, disappointed, peaceful. At times these emotions would hit me within hours of each other. One minute I was feeling inspired and powerful. The next unmotivated and depressed. I felt like I was walking down a line but unable to walk straight, somewhere in between leaning too heavily to one side or the other.

I can now see how death can affect everyone in different ways. I can understand how a person can become depressed very easily. It is easy to get wrapped up in the emotions of losing someone you have loved your whole entire life. For thirty-eight years I have had love for my dad in my heart and although it is still there, it is a different kind of love now. A love of longing, wishing and thankfulness. I also found myself somewhat lost. For months I felt needed more than I ever have in my life. Yes, it was stressful and hard but it also gave me added purpose on a daily basis. Now that purpose is gone. I no longer am needed to go to doctors appointments or just come by to visit. To make sure the nurses are doing what they need to do so my dad is taken care of. I no longer need to be glued to the phone in case it rings with an emergency or just so my dad knew I was there if he needed me. This is also the selfish side of death. How my dad's death affects me directly not about how my dad lost his life too soon.

On the flip side and more positive, I can see and feel the benefits of taking a loved ones death and turning it into something positive. Using the experience to change the way you do things in life. Change your outlook and where you want to end up when it's your turn to move on. Before my dad's death I used to procrastinate horribly. When he got sick, I didn't have a choice. I had to call the doctors or nurses to get what my dad needed. I had to find out about additional health care options to help pay for my dad's health care. If I didn't do it, no one else would. I see this carrying over into my life today although it isn't always standing at the front of my mind. It sometimes gets lost in the back with the depression and lazy days. I want to continue this positive, life changing habit into my future. I don't want it to be something I got from my dad's death, I want it to be a part of me. I think on the days I can think ahead and focus on how good and blessed my life is, I obviously benefit much more. If I can get up in the morning and kiss my kids good morning without stressing about them getting to school on time, I am calmer and happier. If I can go out and exercise with my friends and benefit from their company, the feeling of my blood pumping through my body and being grateful to just be healthy and alive, that will show on my face. If I can utilize my time wisely instead of being scattered and unorganized, I can get more accomplished and feel proud of my accomplishments for the day. If I can come home and cook my family a good meal where we all benefit from it, that calms my mind and warms my heart that I took care of the ones I love with the best of my intentions.

It is going to take all the mental power I have to make the choice to live each day on the positive side. I know that sometimes I will cross the line and feel sad and helpless. I also know that is okay as long as it is sometimes and not all the time. I want to make the most out of life now and I am sad that it took my dad's death to make me realize this. But I can make a choice. I can control my life to the best of my ability and make it all I want it to be. If I can just hold my dad's love and the strength he showed during his battle close to my heart and turn that love into positive energy. I will get through, with time and effort. I choose to be strong today and every day after.

Be healthy and loved - -