Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grief Without Loss

I am back, and it is really good to be home. I was unsure whether I would blog about this, but I have decided that I will…I find writing therapeutic, and this seems like as good a topic for that as any. So, since I have a quiet hour to myself on the airplane, I am going to spill out some stuff that I feel like saying…I will post it when I get to the office. The bad news for you is that this will take up a couple of posts, because there is a lot to say.

I was in Chicago for a couple of days because my father died (btw…there is a moderately freaky premonition in that post…and I was re-reading it and fixed some errors, which is why it showed up in Google Reader yesterday for those of you that saw it…) He had been sick, and went into the prison hospital about two weeks ago to await the inevitable. Ironically, he died of basically the same liver and kidney failure that my mother died of a year and a half ago.

Despite having a lot to say, I am not sure that I really know how I feel about this. I understand that for most people, this would qualify as a traumatic and possibly tragic event, but for me it is much less than that. There is no personal sadness that he is gone…after all, he was just a random guy I met when I was 21.

I feel terrible for his brothers and sisters. They are incredibly sweet people, and every one of them, I am sure, has suffered over the years for not being able to reach out and help their brother. I am sad that they have lost a sibling and that they were never able to save him like they wish they could have. I am sad that his mother and father both died knowing that he was lost and that they never met two of their granddaughters.

And I am sad that I never had a father. I guess if my choice was either him or nobody, I would have picked no one. But I still wish I had a father, and the same goes for Tinkerbelle.

I found out on Saturday that he had died, and decided on Sunday to go out there for the related activities. I could have easily skipped it, but I wanted to be there because I knew how much it affected my aunts and uncles…it hit them a lot harder than it hit me. They have been incredibly generous in welcoming me into the family, and this is something that I wanted to do as part of the family. And…well, I dunno, I feel like you should go to your father’s funeral (not that there actually was a funeral.)

Smoking Hot Roommate is out of town again, so Big Sis spent a couple of days practicing her motherhood skills…she stayed at our place and looked after Munchkin. Amazingly, they both survived:-P Anyway…very public thanks to Big Sis for always being willing to help out on short notice:-) Being a quasi-mom is hard, and I am blessed to have some people who shoulder a huge portion of the burden for no reason other than being really nice people.

So I flew out on Sunday (small snowstorm…fun) and I stayed with Sweet Aunt #1 while I was there. There was no funeral, just a memorial service on Tuesday afternoon and a wake on Tuesday night. I guess that is sort of backwards, but whatever…I don’t tell people how to grieve. He is going to be cremated, and his siblings are still thinking about what to do with the ashes (they asked my opinion, I have none).

BFFg took Monday off from work, so we had a fun girls’ day. I think that she may have thought I would need the company, which is really sweet of her…mostly we just wandered around some stores and ate a lot:-D Then we met BFFb and another friend for dinner.

Tinkerbelle’s Mom decided that it was not a good idea for her to go to the service or to the wake, and I wholeheartedly agree. She didn’t need to be there, and it would have been a pretty rotten way to meet your father for the only time. Plus, when I write about the weirdness of the wake, it will become even clearer why it was good that she stay away. They did come to dinner between the service and the wake, though. Also, I did the most fun thing ever with Tinkerbelle all day Tuesday, and I will tell you about it Friday!

I will save the wake for tomorrow, because I have more to say about that then I thought I would. It was more emotional than I expected, because it was a lot different than I had expected it to be.

I will tell you about a nice little surprise that I got from my father’s oldest brother...well, really from all of his siblings. My grandmother left her kids a little bit of money, which they were unofficially supposed to split equally. Since my father was in prison and they were worried about the State, or someone else, taking hold of whatever he got, they decided it would be best if his brother “kept” it for him.

Well, he never got out of prison after that, so my uncle still had it in a savings account, and they all decided to give it to me and Tinkerbelle. It is not anything that qualifies as a massive inheritance, but it was a pleasant surprise, and not something they had to do. I will gladly add it to my “down payment for a house” fund…and we opened a college savings account and a regular savings account for Tinkerbelle, too. So that was nice.

But now I have a lot of blogs to catch up on, and some real work, too;-) Also, seems like I already have a backlog of blog stuff to write, too…the wake tomorrow, Tuesday with Tinkerbelle on Friday, and the “The Black Donnelly’s” after that. If you didn’t see it, they are showing it tonight on NBC…it was pretty good and if you watch, you will be able to follow the post I write about it this weekend:-P

So, that is where I have been. I am glad I went, and I am glad that I could be there for the rest of the family. But for me… “I am so sorry for your loss,” doesn’t really apply. Hopefully that doesn’t make you all think I am too heartless.


cat said...

AM - i'm still sorry for your loss even if you don't know what to do with it. i'm also sorry you weren't on a fun tropical vacation somewhere. Glad to have you back.

Big Sis said...

Aww, I get a special thanks. Aren't you sweet?

Glad to help out, kiddo!

nicole d. said...

I am glad you went. I think regardless of the relationship you had with your father, you will be glad you went. Plus you got to spend some time with Tinkerbelle and the rest of the family.

Still just me said...

You cannot feel a loss for something you never had. I do think, however, that you now have some closure.

Aaron said...


Anonymous said...

wow. i'm sorry, hon. but i understand what you mean about not feeling anything. i'm like that with my dad and the rest of his family. he's had several close calls and i just don't let it affect me. he's never really been a part of my life.

but i'm sorry nonetheless.

brookem said...

I am sorry to hear about the news. Thinking of you.

Jordan said...

I know exactly how you feel. I would feel the same way if it were my mother. It's very hard to have feelings like that for *someone* like that.... most people won't truly understand unless they've had parents like ours.

Accidentally Me said...

jordan - I think there is actually a difference. I get the impression that your mother was horrid, abusive and really neglectful. So my guess is that leads to a lot of resentment and anger that I am not sure I can really appreciate. My father may have been an ass...but he didn't move me from one home to another as he cycled through new wives, for example.

My feelings towards my father are much more apathetic. I didn't know him, and therefore I don't really have a lot of feelings towards him at all. I just don't think I had enough interraction with my father to have the same kinds of feelings you would have for your mother.