I’m not quite sure how to begin this one. Everything is fine enough but there’s been something kicking around my head for a while and I need to write it out.
As I have mentioned several times before, my mother passed away in June 2016. It’s now six months since her funeral. Six months. A lot has happened in those six months and a great deal of it has been in the vein of moving on. Grief is a strange thing. I find myself effected by it in ways which have surprised me. Grief is not simply sadness or missing someone. It’s much more complex and confusing, at times. Grief permeates one’s life like a stench you can’t shake. Think Pigpen in the Charlie Brown comic. It touches parts of oneself that you maybe wouldn’t expect.
You might expect to feel depressed or intensely sad coupled with a pronounced sense of loss after someone you love passes. Oddly, I haven’t experienced that to the degree I thought I might. However, I wasn’t expecting to feel short tempered, anxious and lethargic. I didn’t expect my feelings to effect my job. I find I can’t multi task as well as before. I get very irritated by the constant interruptions which are ever-present in my position. I can’t take on anything new or learn a new job position right now because my brain can’t fit it in. I realized a few months ago that I hadn’t balanced my checkbook in about 6 months! I did not expect to fall into a pattern of maintaining vs.thriving. My creativity has been lacking and it has been a struggle to find my spark. The things I’ve written felt over the past months feel incredibly cringe-worthy and inarticulate, which I’ve absolutely hated. I’ve deleted a bunch of my past posts for this reason. My mind has struggled with a grey fog and my go-to coping mechanism has been distraction. I can’t face what’s in my head and I can’t articulate it, therefore….YouTube! It has felt like nothing in my world is playing by the rules anymore and I don’t fancy the unpredictability! I used to feel like I knew things about things. Now, I realize I know very little about very little.
My dad seems to be taking things in stride, as one would hope, given the loss of a spouse. My dad has busied himself with the task of moving into a condo. The ups and downs of house hunting, house showings, getting a buyer, losing that buyer, getting another buyer and finally closing the deal have been well documented in emails my sister and I receive. After two months of juggling, my dad is finally scheduled to move in a few weeks. My dad has also gone back to his volunteer work with the local sheriff’s department and has worked many shifts that he’s required. On the outside, things look very normal and “business as usual”.
My dad is a novel, wrapped in a black dust jacket with no prologue. He gives away very little, apart from seemingly random nuggets, dropped with purpose, to see if we’re paying attention. So here’s a few unanswered questions I have for my father: How do you get to know someone who has spent a lifetime playing their cards close to their chest? Why is being a bloody mystery to one’s family so appealing? What is wrong with straight forward communication for a change? Is there some strange need for folks to pursue you to show they care? My parents waltzed this maddening dance for almost 45 years. I am now understanding mom’s frustration with needing to be a “mind reader” (her words, said often). Who knew that in death I’d find common ground with my mother?
I painted a house warming gift for my dad. He is a train enthusiast and I wanted to paint a train trestle winding across a lush, green, mountainous expanse. True to form, my idea took a sharp turn into the ocean. Literally. I ended up painting a panoramic view of the ocean. Initially I intended for it to be a sunset. I ended up with was a cold, tumultuous seascape instead. You can almost feel the chill if you look at this painting long enough. As with anything I’ve painted, my internal emotions influence my work. Everything I’ve written above would explain why my painting turned out as it did so there’s no need to reiterate the obvious.
Moving on after a loss can difficult for an individual. Sometimes watching someone else move on faster is even more difficult. I don’t want my dad to be depressed and alone but I am not ready to see my dad dating. I don’t feel ready for my future at this point but I have little choice in the matter. All the famous quotes about time flood my mind. “Time stands still for no man” springs to mind as does that depressing Tracy Lawrence song song. God help me, I’m referencing country music!! Seems like a good time to end this post.