I am reading this amazing book that Fuzzy got me last year, Transcending Loss, and it is a difficult read, but a helpful one. Basically the book tells you that grief and loss is a lifelong process and your relationship with the one who is gone will continue over time. It talks about 3 phases of grief, I think they are shock, disorientation and transcendence. This, along with my therapy, helps me to understand that my 10 months of laying on the couch watching tv and drinking wine was the right thing to do and just what I needed. Also in the book, it tells you to talk about your loved one as much as possible--tell stories about him because it helps to continue the relationship. It says that you will think that no one wants to listen anymore--which is so true--I think one reason I wrote so much on my blog about dad is because I was sure that people were sick of hearing me talk about it. Whether or not that is true, writing about these things is a blessing.
In addition, I am reading a book by Sark called Thirsty Pens, Juicy Paper, which basically says "You have stories to tell and we need to read them." That telling your stories helps others and keeps people and history alive. Reading these books at the same time is a bit overwhelming, inspiring and emotional.
I've wanted to write about Dad lately. I wanted to write on Father's Day about who he was and what he means to me. I wanted to write about his love of reptiles and how once, when I was in 1st grade, on the way to Culkin, he picked up a turtle on the side of the road and put him on the floorboard of the car. The turtle then peed all over the car, and instead of being upset, his reaction was "Look at the turtle pee! Kids, look at him pee!" How he loved frogs and lizards and turtles and snakes and he would come inside with lizards hanging from his earlobes or on the tip of his finger "hey, what's over there." Once I was on his shoulders on vacation and he picked up a snake with a stick, neverminding that I am terrified of snakes. That every holiday or occasion I would buy him some sort of chotchke reptile--a beaded frog, a pewter turtle. When he had his major surgery, he kept his turtle finger puppet with him the whole time. When, after he died, I got sad when I saw a beaded frog in a store, and Fuzzy said "why don't you get it for him anyway" and I continue to buy him things like that, only now for his grave. The book says to say things like "Oh, Dad would have loved that." and continue to tell stories about him because it keeps him a part of your current life. I'm not sure how people react to that--people tend to get embarrassed or apologetic or try to change the subject. But we want to talk about it. I want to talk about the fact that the Lucha Libre thumb wrestling masks would be the perfect gift for him because every night before bed we did a nighttime routine that ended with a game of thumb wrestling. I once game him a thumbwrestling ring--like with a mat and ropes. Little things to make him giggle.
The other day, I saw a friend I hadn't seen in a while. She asked how my Dad was doing, and I told her that he passed away over a year and a half ago. And I was ok.
The next night, we saw Barenaked Ladies in concert--something I have done many times and even helped make a video for, and I sobbed uncontrollably thinking about life and how things change and keep going. I thought about seeing BNL for the first time in high school in Memphis and dancing with my brother and how Mom and Dad always took us to go see concerts--it was a part of our upbringing. When a song from that first album was sung, I was overwhelmed with feeling, and the floodgates opened up--which is a good thing. I stood there, out in the night sky, holding Fuzzy, the love of my life, and sobbing. Instead of wanting a drink or something to help me get through it, I just stayed in that moment. Missing what was once there, celebrating what is now. Each feeling is a blessing, and it is a part of my continuing healing and processing.
All of these things and so much more are fighting to get out of my head. This is a good place to start. Things are ever changing and there is no "normal." It's all how you handle the now.