Until you have to deal with grief you really have little to no idea of how it works.
Each of us responds differently.
The vast emptiness is something I think many people would experience.
As I had nursed my father for many years before he went into a nursing home I had a bit of an idea of the cruelty that is old age. Cruelty in so much as it debilitates a person.
Thankfully my father was ok in the head right up to the end.
Even on the morning of his death he was communicating.
Caring for an aging parent is something you do with a sense of responsibility and you do what you can to make their lives as comfortable as you can.
In 2008 my father suffered a stroke and from that point on, even though he recovered very well from it, he became a man who was dependent on me.
So to see him in his dying days reduced to a man gasping for breath as pneumonia had him in its grip was very painful.
If you read this blog my Bedtime Story I wrote after one particularly difficult day.
The week after his death was very busy, there was so much to do, get organized, church people to meet and a funeral director who showed my father the greatest dignity.
We buried him on Friday. When my mother died in 1983 dad bought a twin seater and so on Friday we laid him next to mum.
His funeral mass he would have been very proud of.
He was spoken about in wonderfully glowing terms.
My sister sang so beautifully.
We gave him a great sendoff.
My family gathered about me and were truly supportive. My children I am so proud of for being there be with me.
We had a great wake, my kids and I carried on until late on Friday.
But now everyone has gone home.
I have this house to myself along with my youngest son.
I have found I am a person who likes to be busy. I have not really been able to sit and do nothing.
I cleaned my house last week with my sister in laws help. She was wonderful.
Now I am alone I am still busy. Nights are not so good; being alone is no fun at a time like this.
But life does go on and it is out there waiting for me to join in.
Right now I am at a stage where I don’t want to go out there in so much as go back to work.
So I shall have a few days off just for myself.
As people are different we do deal with life’s challenges in our own ways.
For me I have found myself writing.
Its something I do.
I like the exploration of words to try and create a meaning that is relevant to me.
If you are the only person who reads my words it really doesn’t matter whether or not you understand as this process I am doing for myself.
This is how I deal with my grief
This is not to say I haven’t broken down physically and weep uncontrollably.
But for me that is the physical release and this writing process placates my brain.
I used to spend my Saturday and Sunday afternoons with him while he was in the nursing home. I find myself having to catch my thoughts as I think of things to tell him, and then realize I cannot do that anymore.
They say the pain gets easier as time passes and yes I know that is true.
I know my father would not want me to mourn for too long.
As he would say: “You have to get on with living.”