Realizing grief

Ok, I guess it was bound to happen. I finally cracked. After more than week of holding it together in order to get my mom through the shock of finding dad dead on the couch. Then add all the travel. Coming home and jumping right into work. I guess allowing myself, to distract myself to avoid the inevitable… I am going to grieve my father’s death.

Today I was on the phone with United Airlines re-arranging my next trip out so I can help my mom tie up loose ends and I lost it. I had been very busy with clients all day. I had a half hour to myself and thought I’d call the airlines. My “with clients” face was off, my guard down. Before I knew it I was yelling and crying on the phone with a stranger at United. I apologized after the incident. I told the agent that I appreciate her putting up with me and that I realized I needed to take a couple of days to grieve. She was kind and gave me permission to do so saying “Yes you should give yourself that, you need to grieve.”

My realization is that grief will come. I should allow myself to feel it. I need to process it. I will get better by going through it. I will become stronger because of it. It is ok to express it. I can say “No, I cannot do that for you right now.” It is ok to set boundaries in order for me to feel, heal and grow. I do not need to act as if everything is normal and peachy just 14 days after my father unexpectedly dies six months before the doctor said he would, just four weeks ago.

I can find blessings in this experience, but in order to find and appreciate those blessings, I must first grieve.

Getting back into a groove

I like this tune.

I am sitting at my computer starting off my work week. Given the physical and emotional drains of the last week, I decided that I needed an upbeat earworm to get me moving.

Before my trips I always stock up on a few 99 cent movie rentals over on iTunes to help pass the time while flying. This tune closed the movie that I watched while flying to my parents house after the news from mom that dad had passed. I was numb, but decided best to watch a frivilous movie on the flight rather than letting my mind ruminate on what had just happened or what I was walking into. That certain movie was this:

I actually highly recommend this movie. It’s a fun story about human connection as well as being yourself. It is well photographed and leaves you with a warm fuzzy. I needed it that lonely night. Who knows, maybe I’ll start watching My Little Pony and become my own Fearsome Brony.

Life, it’s all about the magic of friendship!

What a week

I’m flying back home to San Diego today. Fearsome is happy, he’s worn out from all of this post father passing hoopla. I am blessed that I could drop what I was doing and fly here to be with mom and spend 10 days. We have gotten a lot done.

She is doing well. They were married 63 years and have been in this house for 58 of them. I’ll be back here in a month for a week to help tie up the loose ends that we have started this week.

Thank you to all of you for the kind words of love and support, it has meant so much to me. Thank you for understanding that my blogging had to be put on semi-hold for family priorities… A more normal life is ahead for us in the next 24 hours.

All is well

My niece Kathy sent me this. She is my niece from The Better Half’s side of my marriage. She lives in San Diego near us. We are very close. Her father died unexpectedly about 18 months ago from a heart attack. He was only 54. She finds solace in this passage. I thank her for it as I think it is beautiful.

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Unlike Kathy, I knew my father was going to pass soon. It was only two weeks ago that he was given about 6 months. I felt deep down that it would be shorter than that, but had no idea it was only going to be two weeks. Although caught off guard and somewhat shocked by his quick passage, I am ok…all is well.

Dad was going to get sick, real sick. I was concerned for him as I didn’t want him to suffer. I was concerned for my mother having to watch him deteriorate knowing there was nothing she could do. I was concerned for my brother here in Roanoke and the extra pressure on him to help, yet maintain his work and family. I was concerned for me calling from 3000 miles away and only being able to get here occasionally to help.

Dad asked to not be resuscitated. He asked that no one try to prolong his life with heroic measures. He didn’t want to suffer. He had just signed a do not resuscitate order on September 10, he died on September 16.

He was home alone when he died. Mom was at her part time job serving lunch to seniors at the senior center where she works. Most of her seniors are actually younger than she is. Her boss told me that she often tells her that when she (my mom) gets old, that she isn’t as bitter or miserable as this or that one who just complained about some trivial thing.

He hadn’t been alone for long as the house keeper was here with him until noon. She had brought him some biscuit sandwiches for lunch. She said she sat with him before she left as he shared a story about one of his college memories. He was in good spirits. My brother had called him at 12:30 to see if he wanted to go to lunch. Dad declined as he was full from the lunch Linda had made for him. He told my brother he was having a good day.

Mom arrived home at 2, he was dead. It wasn’t a pretty scene. He had bled into his lungs, the lung cancer tumor had ruptured. His lungs had rapidly filled with blood which by now was all over him, the couch and carpet. While it was a gruesome looking scene, it’s a very quick and painless way to die. He would have suddenly become short of breath, coughed some blood and passed out almost immediately. Maybe a minute, two maximum, would he even be aware something was wrong. No pain, no suffering.

I am glad my mom was not here when it happened as there was absolutely nothing at all she could have done. If she had to watch him for that minute or maybe two, it would have seemed like eternity. Watching helplessly as a person struggles for breath, no matter how short the time, is traumatic. I’m not saying walking into the house to find him wasn’t a trauma, just less than witnessing what would appear to be horrible and seem like eternity, when it was actually quick and painless, but just a little messy.

He died at home. He wanted to die at home. He’s gone, but he isn’t dead. He has two more great grand children coming in the spring. He taught us to laugh, to cry, to love, to give and to share. We teach the great grandkids what he taught us. You see he was given gifts, he gave us those gifts and we give those gifts. Life is a circle, a circle that we are blessed to experience.

Thanks Dad, I love you.

Life happens, then plans change

I sit alone in an empty airport lobby. I wasn’t supposed to be here. I’m in shock. I’m on my way to my parents house three days before I was supposed to go. In the middle of my feel good motivational conference my phone just wouldn’t stop vibrating. I finally pulled it out of my pocket which I didn’t want to do as I sat on the front row of 1,500 people…right in front of the presenter.

It was my mother calling multiple times, then a text to call ASAP as it was an emergency.

I left the ballroom to call her. Mom came home from work, she’s 83 and yes came home from work, and found my father dead.

The airport lobby is strangely empty. It seems appropriate. All except for Lady Marmalade playing over the speakers. But then again he loved music.

 

Life, it’s happening

Yesterday I ran my ass off. Just one of those busy days where life threw me a plate full. I got most all of it done. I got to bed at about my usual time and am up this morning at 4am, earlier than usual, to get ready to get my ass to the airport by 5:30. So I admit yesterday was busier than usual because I’m flying today.

Life? It’s good.

Off to Philly for a Real Estate conference on Wednesday and Thursday. I get to dine with Anne Marie Wednesday, my bud Raymond Thursday and my niece & her family Friday night. Friday during the day I’ll take in a museum or two.

The original trip I would have flown home to San Diego Saturday. Since we learned that my father’s cancer has returned, and can no longer be treated, my plans changed. Since I’m on the east coast I’ve extended the trip and will fly to Roanoke Saturday for a quick visit. I’ll get to check in with he and mom. They seem to be doing ok over the phone but he is being set up for home hospice care, thus I want to check in just to make sure.

It’s time to grab my shower and eat a bite so I can catch my first of many flights in the coming week. I’m not sure how much blogging will happen, so if I miss a day you will know why.

Life, it’s not only good, it’s a good adventure. Sometimes it has less than desirable events, but it’s up to us to find the pearl in the oyster.

Spo Visit

Urspo, of Spo-Reflections, is in San Diego for a medical convention. Fearsome, The Better Half and I picked him up and wisked him away to dinner last night. It was a pleasure!

He and The Better Half are in very similar fields of medical practice. Thus the conversation varied from blogging, health, lifestyle, medicine, ideas, gossip, podcasts, movies and books to the effects of benzodiazepines on post menopausal women. It was a lively evening. Well, a lively evening of three fiftyish men with much in common.

I am happy to report to all of Urspo’s readers that he is sticking to his promised healthy eating habits. His choices of edibles were right on target with his proposed changes in habits. Well all except for the gelato, but Fearsome has a way of leading the sheep to slaughter. Urspo did order only one scoop, Fearsome had two. After dinner we had a nice stroll along University Avenue enjoying the sights and sounds of Hillcrest in hopes a walk would help work a little gelato off. Warning for those who may take a little stroll after dinner with Urspo, try to avoid walking across bridges with low railings, over freeways, as he will channel Mrs. Danvers somewhere about the middle of the bridge.

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No worries, while first startled by the chilling yet coercing suggestion of Mrs. Danvers to jump, Fearsome quickly warded off the effort of Urspo’s twisted sense of humor…

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This is a banner week for Fearsome as he will dine not only with one, but two of his blogging mentors. While he hosted Urspo here in his San Diego hometown last night, Tuesday he flys to Philly to attend a Real Estate conference where he is honored to dine with none other than the most fabulous Anne Marie Wednesday evening.