Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Reminders of Dad

As Purim passed and Pesach is approaching, I can't seem to manage my thoughts from flowing to my dad constantly. Figuring out details of yahrtzeit and whether to say yizkor or not are all just triggers. I had thought I was doing so well until last week when I paid a shiva call to a friend of mine who unfortunately also lost her father. I've seen incidents before of what I did but didn't really expect it from myself.

During our shiva, a woman came to visit who lost her husband about three years ago. When she walked in, she burst into tears and we ended up consoling her. Her own loss, I suppose, overwhelmed her at our shiva house. Also, at my father's levaya, a friend of mine who had lost her father six months before found herself inconsolable. Why is it that other people's tragedies dredge up so much from one's own personal experience?

I had gone to pay a shiva call to console my friend and really found myself not just feeling her pain, but completely feeling mine again as if this were my own shiva house. I felt terrible. I really did go to comfort her but she and her mom ended up consoling me. It was embarrassing and I had to leave.

I guess I go though the overall motions of everyday life with this underlying sadness just under the surface that I could usually ignore but when confronted with these emotions in other people, I can't control my own. After speaking to so many people that lost someone, I know that this is normal. Unfortunately they say the sadness will never go away. Maybe the newness will, but the sadness will not. I suppose that when I was confronted with my friend losing her father, I didn't cry just for me, but for her as well. The thought of her going through all of what I had the last few months and the bleaker future which was in store for her was enough to push my sadness past the surface.

Visiting my grandmother, my dad's mother, this week, did not help. Luckily she is older and doesn't fully comprehend what went on with my dad. Being in his house where he grew up and where some of my greatest childhood memories are from, coupled with my grandmother being in the condition that she is when she was such a strong capable women proved to be another kick in the gut. The happiness replaced with sadness and old age, all part of life and all to depressing. My 80+ grandmother represented a sad picture of life and what the future holds down the road if we are lucky enough to make it till then.

It looks like the sadness is here to stay for a while. As much as I try to be normal, I can't disguise the truth from myself. I miss him terribly and tragedies as well as yom tovim and simchas seem to just enhance the feelings. Maybe it will subside again soon and maybe it won't. I doubt I will ever stop missing him.

12 Comments:

Blogger serene said...

At least you're clear on your feelings...........

12:24 PM  
Blogger HumanBeforeJewish said...

i hope u never stop missing ur dad. that would be a sad testament to his life and its impact on u. let me ask u s/t else. how did u feel after u posted this post?

6:38 PM  
Blogger swiftthinker said...

I always feel better after I write this way. Depressing for everyone else, therapeutic for me. This blog predominantly started out and will always be an outlet for my situation with my father.

8:50 AM  
Blogger HumanBeforeJewish said...

that's what i thought, and that's y i asked. i find writing to be very therapuetic. unfortunately, i dont always have the time nor the inclination to put my thoughts/feelings into words.

9:37 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

:-(
Theres nothing wrong with a little sadness...Express it..
I shouldn't really talk because I've never had a loved one taken from me b'h..but I've felt sadness...and it's very therapeutic to let it flow out of you...

12:34 PM  
Blogger GOVI said...

can we talk about Jack Bauer again?

just kidding - i wanted to add levity to another amazing (and depressing)post by Swiftthinker

1:03 PM  
Blogger swiftthinker said...

David,
Be thankful. I never knew tzarus before now either.

Govi,
We could talk about Jack Bauer anytime as well as Beiruz or Audrey. If I need to skip tehillim to discuss it, I will. Just let your neighbor know so she could go back.

2:11 PM  
Blogger GOVI said...

thanks for including my neighbor - let's invite her to the season finale!

2:40 PM  
Blogger swiftthinker said...

She would love that.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

I'm glad you're writing this. first, it's a perspective form a person who is grieving that I would never have the guts to ask about.

Second, although I try not to ask the well meaning, but I suspect pointless, "So how are you doing...," it's good to know how you're doing.

7:53 PM  
Blogger swiftthinker said...

SW,
This is a great outlet for me. Once I write it, it's almost entirely lifted from me at least for the moment.
The only really pathetic part about it is that too many people know who I am. For these purposes, it might have been better to be anonymous blogger. And yet I haven't really held back in my writing due to it.
The truth is why do I need the veil? Do I need people to think I'm perpetually happy when my father just passed away? Probably not. It would actually make for a rather callous person.
Although it makes it easier for people to deal with me when they think that. Again, as I said in a previous post a lot of people cannot handle true emotions. But if you're not one of them, then I'm glad you know who I am.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Only speaking for myself here, I don't feel uncomfortable around those I know who are grieving, but I always wish I could know whether or not the words I say are being received for the emotion and concern behind them, less for the awkward stumbling that I may mistakenly believe is compassion.

I'm glad the writing is therapeutic. It's also very very appreciated by those who are just interested in being here for you in a way that actually helps.

8:02 AM  

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