Saturday, January 15, 2011

11 Days

My dad has been gone for 11 days.

Separation by death is agony. The new, awful distance between you rubs your soul raw, shredding you from the inside out as you push forward through the busyness of sleeping, eating, working.

I keep thinking of things I want to tell him. I used to stockpile bits and pieces to talk to him about while we were in the dialysis waiting room - things to distract him or amuse him. Sometimes they were things that were so exciting to me that I couldn't wait, and told him in the car on the way to the hospital.

He was the kind of person who you wanted to run to when you had something to say that you knew he'd want to hear. He lit up. He laughed from his toes. He pounded his fist with sympathetic rage.

Sometimes, for a fraction of a second, I forget. And then I am frozen with this thing I want to say sitting quietly unspoken in my head as I remember. 

When my mom woke me that morning to tell me he'd died in his sleep, I didn't cry. I hung up the phone, looked out the window and thought, "So this is what it looks like without him here."

It looked the same. And I couldn't understand how that could possibly be.

I miss him in a way I can't miss Thomas - and in a way that confused me for the first few days. There's a hole where Thomas should have been, but there's a hole where my dad was. In those first, awful days it felt so much worse than when Thomas died.

Because I knew my dad.

I've finally decided that it's okay to miss them differently. I don't know why this preoccupied me so much, but I was worried about missing one more than the other. I was worried about what that might say about the love I had for each of them.

But as it turns out, I love them both and miss them both - for a million different reasons. And for two common reasons: because we three are a part of each other, and because they both belonged to me.

His hands are gone. He can't hold mine anymore. But I feel him guiding me through these sad, strange days - urging me onward and reminding me that life does go on. And that it can be wonderful, even still. 

Because he led by example.

The night he died - before I even knew he was gone - I cried quietly in bed wondering how on earth I'd live without that love when the time came.

I now know that it's still there - that his love will always be with me.

And the friends who came to the visitation and the funeral - and who send cards, flowers, chocolates, food, messages and Mass cards, and left treats at my door - have demonstrated that there is abundant love to be had all around me. I'm once again in grateful awe of the way friends seem to find a way to fill the awful empty spaces with their concern, friendship and love.

I miss my daddy.

But I'm doing okay.


Sami said...

*HUGS* Losing a parent stinks. I'm sorry to hear of your dad's death. My heart breaks for you as I know what that feels like. He's with you... just not in the way you want him to be and he loves you. I know you know these things already, but it's always nice to have someone confirm them.

areyoukiddingme said...

In some ways, it's harder to lose your dad, because you knew him. But that will also make it a little easier in the long run - you'll be able to remember all those wonderful parts of him without dwelling on the parts that make you sad (like his illness). I'm sorry for your loss.

loribeth said...

He'll always be with you, just like Thomas is. (((hugs)))

lorem ipsum said...

That was the saddest and most beautiful thing I've ever read.


Pipsylou said...

I'm so very happy you had him for a dad, you know? Your memories of him will continue to bless you in a million ways. I think that's how he wanted it.

lady pumpkin said...

The beauty of your writing makes my heart hurt. I'm glad you're finding a way through, but it must be tough (hardcore understatement). I am delighted that the love all around you is making itself known.

Sandy said...

I don't know if I've ever seen a more eloquent post on what it's like to lose a parent. My heart goes out to you and I wish you moments of brightness during the next while.

You are such a beautiful writer.

Rosepetal said...

Love to you Kristin

Illanare said...

Such a beautiful post. I wish I had a comment to match it but instead I just send hugs.

aerialsmama said...

You are truely gifted with words, I never cease to be amazed with how you so elegantly express even the most raw feelings. I hurt for you and wish there was more I could do...

erica said...

Such beautiful words, with so much sadness and love and hope in them.

I'm so glad you still feel that love.

Thinking of you, and of your dad, and of Thomas.

RoseAnn said...

So many of your posts really speak to me but this one also feels timely. My parents are both still alive but my dad is facing some medical issues and your posts about your dad remind me to cherish every moment with him.


Lisa said...

Oh, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your dear dad. Know that he will stay in your heart forever.

Sending hugs your way. ~Lisa xox

kate said...

(((((hugs)))))) to you.

Help me Rhonda said...

It has been over a year and a half since my Dad left me. Your post is so familiar to me. I blogged before the holidays about crying in the shower because I was thinking I should call him for something.
But I want to you take comfort in something I still remember vividly. My Dad's hands. I can clearly see them and still clearly feel them.
Hold tight to your memories and miss what will always belong to you.

Polka Dot said...

Oh hon I'm so sorry. I took a break from the blog world and wasn't here to give my heart when your dad first passed.

He was such an amazing gift for you. That much I can tell from the way you talk about him and the stories you've shared. And from those stories, I have no doubt you were an absolute gift to him.


Hennifer said...

I wish that words could convey what I am feeling right now. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. My new company has blocked all blogs. I've returned to school and have no time for anything fun/me/relaxing anymore. I am only up tonight because I was cramming and I wanted to poke around online. I was like "I miss my friends (blogs)" and to come here and see this news after being away so long... I don't mean to appear freakish but after years of reading yours and other mamas blogs daily I feel like you are my friends and more than anything I wish I could just give you a hug. I'm so sorry your daddy is gone. <3 Jennifer