Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fear

II bet most people would be surprised to know that I feel fear. I feel like if I say that, a lot of people would say, not you. You aren't afraid of anything. Wrong. I'm afraid of a lot of things. 

You know the phrase frozen in fear? The one time I remember being in such a state I was driving to northern Minnesota with my friend Dana and her very little daughter who was sleeping soundly in the back seat. In my peripheral vision I saw a giant blob came at the side of the car and in a fraction of a second the glass had shattered everywhere. I didn't slam on the brakes, I didn't swerve. I didn't even scream. In fact I just let off the gas till we coasted to a stop. I remember Dana speaking. Words that I couldn't hear. I parked the car looked at her daughter who was completely covered in glass and still asleep. I got out of the car and stood in the pitch black road staring at the ground. I could still hear Dana speaking but I couldn't speak back. I was literally frozen in fear. I didn't want her daughter to wake up and grab the glass. I was responsible for these two lives and I almost lost them. Almost lost myself. I was petrified. 

I wouldn't experience that fear again until years later on a lake, also in Minnesota, when I literally almost snapped my back in half. When I was completely frozen in fear my with face under the water not able to feel my legs. 

I fear a lot of things. I fear my mother will not be proud of me. I fear I won't do my job to the best of my ability. I fear Brodie will have a massive seizure and it will be the last one he will ever have.  I used to fear I would never love another human being or that I would never allow one to love me. But recently I have a new fear. And it's not one I am accustomed to. I fear I won't wake up. 

Apparently this is a common feeling or phenomenon that a person who has lost a loved one experiences. It doesn't feel common. It feels terrible. It feels ominous. It feels sad. 

My father was for all intents and purposes plucked out of the sky. He went to sleep. And never woke up.  

I live big. I love big. Everything I do I do it with my whole heart or I don't bother doing it. There is no point. Everything I do is out loud. Larger than life. Go big or go home. It has to be. Living is no exception. But recently my mortality has been nagging at me and it has created an enormous amount of fear. Not debilitating. It's just there. Like a cloak. It doesn't come in waves it's just there. Present. Tap tap tapping on me to listen. 

I don't profess to be the best person. I just try to be the best me I can be. There will never be another me. And I will not have children to leave this legacy of me through. I hate that I will never have a person say to me that he or she gets that trait from their mother. There are a lot of things I will never be. That one pains me the most. 

Do any of us know when our last day is? No. We don't. Or when. Or how. Or why. But we sure spend a lot of time not living. So when you see me out and about and your first thoughts are wow she's intense. Or wow she's so sensitive. Know this. I'm scared to death. Scared of not living while I am living because to be honest I can close my eyes tonight and that could be it. So while I am living it's going to be big. And it's going to be out loud. Or for me, it's just really not living at all. 

My wish for anyone reading this is to please live. Now. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Our Father...

Hey Buddy! 

Lol. I've never called you that. 

Hi Dad!

It's been two years in a few short hours. Feels like 2 minutes. I've been overwhelmed? Overcome? With grief these past few weeks. I say weeks because it's seriously been that long. Weeks since I've felt anything besides pain. I don't know why. I don't know how. I just know it's all I feel. 

I tried to explain it to Mom tonight but I can't. And yet I know she understands. I hope she does. I pray she does. 

I pray for a lot of things Dad. I mostly pray that you are listening. Because I cannot imagine a world any longer in which you are not. 

Year two brings all sorts of regrets. Things I should have said. Things I wished I had said. Things I DID say. I am not sure where these regrets came from but there they were.

 I'm incredibly imperfect. Mom told me she tried to tell you so and you refused to listen. Or you wouldn't help her sort it out. I am blessed that she took it on herself and embraced me. I know you did too. We had a chat. Over an ice run for four-wheelers. Lol. Never forget it. 

I miss you. Something fierce. 

I don't know if I will ever find me again. I don't know if I ever knew who she was to begin with. I just know that my heart has an empty space where you used to be. And I also know I will never be the VP of Dick Blick. But thank you for telling that young man that night that I was. Because I will never forget it. 

My God I miss you. 

Our Father. Who Art in Heaven. Please tell my Dad I miss him. 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Grief Blanket

Sometimes grief is like a blanket.  And I wear it wrapped around me like I am in a cocoon.  And I fear getting out of it because I am not sure I will understand how to function without it wrapped around me.  Sometimes the grief is there, but not wrapped tightly.  Just enough so I can feel it on my skin; feel its weight, but it is not overwhelming.  Like when you need just a sheet on at night…

I do not know when I will wear grief.  It is not like I get up in the morning and when I am deciding what to wear that I look at grief hanging over in the corner waiting for me to pick it for the day.  Grief climbs on no matter what color I choose.  Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes I cannot put on enough clothes to cover it up.  I do not know in advance that it is stopping by.  It doesn’t really ask for an invitation, it just sort of shows up.  So, I cannot really plan for it or prepare.  Like the dinner guest you did not know you were having, but the guilt is so overwhelming, so you feed them something even if it is something you just had to throw together.

I can tell you that at its heaviest, it can feel like that weighted “jacket” they give you when you are getting an x-ray.  But not in a way that you can just slide it off…it is attached…tied behind you, so you cannot just unlatch it.  It is there.  It’s on tight…it is locked.  It is not something you want someone else unlocking either, otherwise that creates a dependency you do not want or need.  The grief blanket is an easy thing to want someone else to remove for you, or help you with, but let me tell you in advance, that is not a good idea.  No one can wear your grief for you, or remove it from your wardrobe.  It’s an individual, personal journey.  And the road is long.

This is a tough week for me.  I know that it is not an easy one for my siblings either, but thankfully I cannot get in their heads and express their emotions.  They would not love that if I could. This was his favorite time of year.  He worked stupid hard on getting the farm ready.  He LOVED throwing the year’s biggest party.  He also loved drinking everyone’s beer and eating their food.  It was a balance for him.

The worst part about this week is that in just a few more weeks after this one, it will be the anniversary of when I feel like he was just plucked out of the sky.  I know that loss, grief, etc. works differently for everyone.  I can go along for months seemingly unaware of its presence, but knowing it is there because it feels like a soft t-shirt; comfortable, but not bothersome…tolerable perhaps even.  Then, for reasons I will never know, the t-shirt becomes a heavy blanket.

This used to be my favorite time of year.  Now I just want to have someone, in the words of one of Sisters favorite songs, “wake me up, when September ends.” 

It does not get easier.  For anyone that hopes it will, or tells me it will.  It does not.  I cannot tell you when it will happen or why, I just know it will.  And I won’t be able to explain it to someone who has not gone through it, I just hope I find the right people to be around who get it.  Who at least will understand?  Understand that although they cannot see it, I am dragging around a very heavy blanket and that sometimes I just want to crawl under it.

It takes a tremendous amount of strength to push it off and move forward.  And there can be a sense of loss just by trying to remove it too, which sounds incredulous, but it’s true. Because although there are times it can smother you, you also do not want it to disappear because then that means you have forgot him completely.  And I never, ever want to do that.


My grief blanket is heavy right now…and I just wanted you to know Dad, that I am doing everything I can to lift it and honor you by trying to celebrate this week, not loathe it.  Holy mother of God it is hard.