Friday, February 19, 2010

The Day After

Feeling a little melancholy tonight. A good friend of mine, who's son is one of Harold's good buddies and who was a teammate on my 3 Day Walk team lost her father-in-law to leukemia yesterday. Even though they were expecting him to pass, I don't think they were expecting it this fast. Even though I think he was ready, I know that the people who loved him weren't ready. Sigh.

My friend's husband is a great guy. He is a nice, funny, genuine - just a super fellow. I am reflecting tonight and I am sure that his personality and outlook on life have so much to do with how his Dad raised him. He is surely hurting something fierce tonight over the loss of his Dad. I know first hand that watching your spouse lose a parent is unbelievably difficult and my heart breaks for my friend. You feel an incredible responsibility to be strong so that your spouse can fall apart. I mean they lost their parent and saying goodbye to the ones who have spent a lifetime loving you unconditionally, no matter what, no questions asked, forever and ever is supremely and sadly difficult. On the other hand, a mother-in-law and father-in-law are pretty darn close to being a parent to you and you would like nothing more than to curl up into a ball and cry until you can't cry any more. These were important, important people in your life. They made your husband into the man you love. It is as close to losing a parent as you can ever experience.

Today, I have thought so much about Joe and Louise, my father and mother-in-law. They loved me like one of their own and I loved them more than I ever dared to imagine I could. Today, on the way to pick up Chip from school I started crying in the car. Not sobbing, just tears running down my face. Just imagining what our friends are doing today...the day after. The day after sucks.

It has been nine years since Joe passed on 11/22/00. That date is just burned in my mind. We had to drive from Texas to Alabama knowing he was already gone. We weren't expecting it - we were planning to see him for Thanksgiving. The car was actually packed and the alarm was set to head that way the very morning we got the call. So we drove hours and hours the day after, and when we arrived we walked into the saddest, most distraught family ever. It was awful. My hubby was the strong one - he wanted to get things in order, make arrangements, take the burden from his mother. Anything to ease her pain. I was his right hand man. Give me something to do and I was handling it. Going through the motions.

April 10th 2009. Memories are still really fresh and emotions still kind of raw. So stunned to lose our sweet Louise so unexpectedly. Disbelief. Terrible sadness. The phone ringing, people stopping by, food everywhere, arrangements being made, so many phone calls and delivering of the sad, sad news. Trying to have a coherent thought because you have cried so much that your brain feels like a big bowl of mush. Eyes burning, swollen and red from the tears that just won't stop. Hard just doesn't do it justice. One foot in front of the other and the next thing you know the day after is over. You survive. Thank God.

I know our friends will come through it. We did. I know they have supreme faith in God and trust that they will be reunited one day with their loved one. It still hurts. In fact, I am pretty sure that I don't really know how to grieve. You hear it all the time that everyone does it differently. I don't know if I have done it at all. Sometimes I feel at peace with it and sometimes there is just a huge mass of emotion in my chest that feels like a burden I just keep carrying around. It comes and goes with varying severity. Maybe that is normal.

As a final thought, I can't imagine the day that I lose one of my parents. They have been part of my life since the day I was born (obviously, right?) But seriously, never have I made a life decision without their input. Never have I celebrated an accomplishment without hearing them telling me they are proud of me. Never have I endured a sadness without them to cry with. Never have I shared a funny story about my kids without knowing that they will laugh hardest of all. They are my foundation. They have seen me through every disappointment and celebration. They have been my biggest cheerleaders and confidants. I love them. Can't bear to think of losing them.

My heart just breaks for all the people I know who have lost their Mom or Dad. Most especially tonight for my friends who are living their day after today. Peace be with you.

After thought: I am on my own last nerve with all this introspective sadness. Tomorrow I am blogging about farts, burps, mud tracks - SOMETHING that will have me smiling while writing instead of crying.

1 comment:

  1. Remember the wonderful times and fun you had with Louise and Joe. The sadness may never pass, nor the emptiness left in your heart but you can fill it with all the memories of joy, togetherness, and laughter.
    On a brighter note, I am looking forward to fart and bathroom stories, I'd like to hear the one of Harold and hubby at the filty urinal somewhere and I forget what H said or did but it was funny. Hubby, will remember it.