Thursday, 27 March 2014

I'm Having Trouble Breathing In

Back in Australia, I can report that if my flying to Israel in order to participate in its normal grieving rituals was meant to help me get over my father's passing away, it failed. It doesn't take much to get the discomfort going, just a few thoughts or a glimpse at some of the memorabilia I brought back with me. Things like some of the driver's licences my father had collected over the years: he was always proud of being able to drive almost anything.
Under all of this discomfort there is still that prevailing thought that my father should have had some few more good years in him. Perhaps, if it wasn't for that silly fall, or if it wasn't for that lacklustre medical treatment he had received (no, we're not suing, but yes, I am definitely accusing) he would have still been around enjoying decent quality life. Then, perhaps, we would have been able to do things together, like the things we didn't really make an effort to do back when everything was alright.
Yes, these thoughts can drive me crazy. Maybe the whole notion is crazy to begin with? Maybe it's just me not being close enough, physically, to witness the gradual decline in my father's health that's to blame? Maybe I'm going through the standard grieving motions, but it's just that I'm inexperienced in the process?
I don't know. What I do know with significant certainty is that going back to work and the life's normal routines is going to be hard.


Sarah said...

Grieving is a long unpredictable process that is different for everyone. While there is a theory of stages you go through I found it was more like waves sometimes big and unbearable other times sitting at the back of your mind niggling away.

As for the what if's I got really angry when people tried to tell me to forget them and move on. A counsellor I had was really helpful at the time and said that what if's were important to try and make sense of what had happened but instead of making up a perfect happy ending you needed to think about the realistic answer to the situation. What if I had been there the night my Mum had collapsed I could have saved her. In reality I was never going to be there at that time of night and given the state of her heart what if I had tried but failed to save her how much more traumatic would that have been??

Be kind to yourself grieving is an exhausting process that you can't rush. It is about finding the new normal to your life when such a significant part is now missing. I miss my Mum every day. Not just our relationship but all the things she has missed in my life and the conversations we can't have. I still have dreams 10 years later where I am with my Mum and feel like I can finally breathe out and say to her "I'm so glad you're back it's so horrible when you're dead'.

If it gets too much you just have to stop and breathe.

Moshe Reuveni said...

I'm trying - not very successfully - not to have the last word whenever someone posts a message here. My excuse for straying again here is to say thanks!

I will also say I tend to agree with your wave theory. That stages theory sounds quite way up there to me; as in, denial? Denial of what?