A very personal story

Warning – this is a long post about loss and grief. Friends, please don’t read if this kind of thing upsets you.

Last Wednesday my father died.

Wednesday was also the last day I had with my daughter, before I put her on the plane early the next day. She was up for a brief, one week visit. We were to go and have tea with my dad that evening, the last family get together on her hectic itinerary.  At 5pm I rang and said we would be at his place in 15 minutes. Just before we got there my father had just had a ‘turn’ and his wife had called the ambulance. He had an aortic anuerism which we knew would burst one day and that day had just come. An hour later we got the news that he had died.

We are amazed at the timing of it all. If we had arrived five minutes sooner, my daughter (15) would have seen dad having his ‘turn’ and I’m glad she was spared that. 15 minutes later and he would have already been taken away by ambulance. We had a ten minute window of opportunity to see him before the help arrived. As I was talking to him I noticed things about him that I’d not noticed before. Little, insignificant things.

12 hours later I was putting my daughter on the plane (I wish I could tellyou about the delightfull time I had with her). I went back to my dad’s place and just sat and comforted his wife and helped her with arrangments that needed to be made. Dad had said that he didn’t want a funeral and he didn’t want us making a lot of fuss. He was cremated yesterday, just the way he wanted.

I wanted something to commemorate my father and I had an idea to buy a ring, that way I’d have something close to me. I don’t really like to spend a lot of time shopping, so I just left it to fate that the ring I needed would be found. I went to a couple of jewellery stores but couldn’t see what I was after. I thought, I’m going to try one more store and if it is not there, I’ll just give the idea away. I went into the last store, made a selection, slipped it on and immediately knew it was the one. Perfect details, perfect fit.

I got up this morning and thought I do a bit of a tidy up and look for my other rings that I took off 10 months ago, but haven’t been able to find since. Lo and behold, I found them in less than ten minutes looking in the place I had been looking all along. One of the rings is one that I bought myself for my fortieth birthday. I went and bought the biggest diamond ring I could afford with my settlement money from my separation. We were together fifteen years and my partner never once bought me a ring, so to celebrate my new beginning I bought my own. I slipped it on next to my dad’s ring and it sits beautifully next to it. I love my dad.

When I was nine my mother ran away, took us (kids) with her and relocated on the other side of the country. I was not allowed to mention or cry about my dad. Just after I turned forteen my father found us and our reunion was bittersweet. Those few short years intervening years had taken a toll on my father, he was a broken man. I was so delighted to be reunited with him, but then came the parting a couple of days later because he had to go back to his life and work. It was heart wrenching and tramatic. Dad and I had a very bad case of separtion anxiety.

For the next thirty years we went thru the same thing everytime we visited each other and had to part company. We just couldn’t cope with the parting. Several years ago I moved to the city where he lived and found a place to live nearby. For the next five years I got to visit him often and not have to go thru the whole parting ordeal.

Among  other health issues, he had dementia. I would often go around and have a cuppa with him and his wife. Dad couldn’t follow the conversation but would sit and listen as best he could. While I nattered away with his wife I would look at my dad and feel connected to him. But I knew the day was fast approaching when the final separation would come. That day came last Wednesday.

I have coped with it surprisingly well. I’ve cried and felt saddened. That is until today. Today I’m living my separation anxiety. If I had to rate this grieving compared to all the other times I had to go thru this with him I would honestly have to say it is no worse. It is been traumatic every time and it’s intencity was never wavered. And just like every other time, I know I’ll eventually calm down and go about my usual business.

Today I grieve for what happened to us in 1975 when I was just nine years old. Time never did heal that wound, sad to say.

I love you dad.

Categories: Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “A very personal story

  1. Leslie McLaughlin

    Thank you for sharing this story. My father passed away in May and it was very difficult for me also. Give yourself time and space and the healing will happen. Each person is unique and we all grieve differently.

  2. Dear Theresa, I have not lost my dad, but he also is a walking timebomb the surgeon has told us, and I know that one of these days I will go through the torment of never seeing my beloved dad again,today I will make sure I tell him I love him because of the sadness you are carrying in your heart as you journey through these deep dark and lonely days without your dad. There are no words that can console the broken spirit but know that you are loved by many who care for your sad and heavy heart. Be kind to yourself, and everytime you look down at your new ring it will remind you of a rare and precious gem, the man you were blessed to know as ‘dad’and your love for him will remain deep within your heart in a place where love does never tarnish and is kept safe for evermore. I send you hugs on the winds of love. Sally xx

  3. kirstyscardnscrap

    To my dearest friend. I’m not very good with words as you know. All I can say is I will always be here for you when you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen or have a dire urge to vent! I’m very saddened by your loss and I pray things are only easier for you from now on. You deserve all the happiness the universe can muster…you sweet kind hearted friend.
    I love you!

  4. Oh Therese!!! I’m so very sorry to read this! My heart goes out to you! Sending big squishy spludgey hugs your way! Know that i’m thinking of you. Love Mad xoxo

  5. God bless you for your courageous post! I know that wasn’t easy! It may sound kinda silly, but it gives others a chance to console and minister to you during this difficult time. I’m thankful that God arranged for a reunion with your dad so many years ago after such an unfortunate set of circumstances in your childhood. And I’m thankful that God was also arranging all the details surrounding his passing. What an amazing journey! I’ll be praying for you and your family.
    Luv, Kay

  6. Oh honey…

    I’m so so sorry and I wish I could give you a big hug. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with all of us. It’s humbling.

    If you are feeling up to reading, read “A Grief Observed” by CS Lewis. I found it most closely matched my own feelings of loss.


  7. I’m so sorry that I’m only getting to this now, and I am more sorry than I have words for about your loss. My heart goes out to you honey ♥
    I am so glad you sat and wrote this post and shared your grief with us. If you need someone to talk to I am always here for you. Big hugs and kisses, Kristie.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss Theresa. Thanks for sharing your amazing story about your Dad. It’s so nice that you were able to reconnect with him after your separation as a child. I have been lucky so far not to have lost any of my loved ones, but I too will give my Dad a huge hug the next time I see him. Life is too short. You take care xx

  9. Jann Schott

    I came across your site via Clearlyrubberstamping.com’s site tonight.

    Your post about your dad’s passing just really rings true to my heart. I lost my daddy in April 2003 and, like you, expected it to happen because of ill health, but once that day arrived, I wasn’t ready for it. It’s been 6 years and I miss him more and more with each passing year.

    For What it’s worth, there is a poem that was written called “Pennies From Heaven” You can read the poem here:

    http://callacats.com/penny.htm I believe Charles Mashburn wrote it. When a friend has lost a loved one, I share this poem with them. Whenever I see any money on the ground, I pick it up and say, “Thanks Daddy!” It brings a smile to my face.

    I’m sorry for your loss. Losing a parent, or even a sibling is a very hard thing to experience.

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