Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Letting go

I was going to wait until this weekend to post this or say anything about it, but it's really on my mind, and I thought I might be able to get some ideas from those of you that "visit" me.
This weekend marks the 26th anniversary of the day my father passed away. I was a 14 year old kid going through a very difficult stage in my life at the time. Add to that that I was a DEFINITE Daddy's Girl, and you end up with a kid that is TOTALLY messed up!
Even though it's been such a long time since his passing and even through I've been through YEARS of counselling and therapy, I still cry about it sometimes as if it just happened. I think alot of it does have to do with the fact that I was so young when he passed away. We knew for a very long time that he wasn't going to survive. He had cancer and had been sick for almost 2 years. But I just kept denying that he wasn't going to always be there for me.
On top of that, I have some bad "feelings" about the day he passed. He was at a stage with his cancer that he could do nothing for himself anymore. We had a visiting nurse that came in for most of the day, but the mornings and evenings were left to us to take care of him.
On the morning of the day he passed away, it was my "turn" to feed him before I left for school. The only thing he could eat was stage 1 baby foods, and apparently I had made a "bad" choice that morning because as I was feeding him he got upset and spit it out on me. I remember getting very upset with him because I was already dressed for school and that meant that I had to change quickly to avoid missing the bus. Before I ran up to my room to change, I blurted out to him "Fine, don't eat, you can starve as far as I'm concerned". I changed and left for school. When I got off the bus that afternoon there were many more cars in our driveway than "usual", and I got this horrible feeling inside of me. As I got to the front door, I was greeted by our pastor, which added even more to the horrible feeling I had inside. He took me and my sister off to the side and tried to explain that our father was gone. I don't remember too much other than throwing my books and running into the room where I left him that morning. When I got there I seen my mother, my fathers parents, my fathers sister and a few people from my church. They were all surrounding my mother who was just sitting there staring into space. It was almost like she wasn't there, just her body was. I turned and looked to where my fathers bed was. He was still "there" but only in body, and he was covered with a sheet. I wanted to bad to go to him, to hug him and kiss him and tell him how sorry I was for what I had said that morning. I wanted to shake him and make him come back. I didn't want him to be gone. Instead, I ran. I ran out of the house and down the road into the woods. I sat there for what seemed like hours. All I could think of was how hurtful my last spoken words to my father were. I loved him with all my heart and soul and now he was gone and I couldn't take back what I had said.
Those words have haunted me for 26 years now. As I sit here typing this I have tears in my eyes. I know that my father knows I didn't mean what I said that morning, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.
But, something inside of me feels that it is time for me to "let go". It's time to quit dwelling on the past and start looking ahead to the future. I need to quit thinking about what would have been, and start thinking about what is.
I have decided that on the anniversary of his passing this year, I am going to "formally" let go. The hubby, kids and I are going to the cemetary. I plan on taking a single rose and a large helium filled balloon. Attached to the balloon will be a letter to my father which I will release and allow the angels to take up to him. I know it sounds kind of "childish", but it's something that I feel I have to do. I know he knows how much I love him and he'll always be in my heart, but it's time for me to let go. If you have any thoughts about anything that I could do to help let go, I would appreciate it!
Thanks for listening!


Running2Ks said...

Oh Holly, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you can let the guilt go--he knows you loved him. He knows you still do.

I will pray for you and your family on this sad anniversary.

Chickadee said...

Oh Holly I'm so sorry that you lost your dad. There is no timeline with grief and I think that there are layers to grief much like there are layers to an onion. Different events in your life will trigger that grief.

Have you read "Giving Sorrow Words" by Candy Leighnter? (I may have spelled her last name wrong) It is an excellent, excellent book.

My 19-yr old sister was killed by a drunk driver 10 years ago and I still have those days too.