Everyone wants you to be okay, but is it really okay to say you feel like crap?

 I miss my father. I miss his face. I miss his hugs, his encouragement, the little gifts he’d bring me just because he knew they’d put a smile on my face. I miss the way he managed to keep our family solid and thriving, despite the dysfunction that runs oh so deep. I miss his presence, I miss his voice; the way he’d call me on the phone for no reason other than to say hi, and sound so upbeat and happy- despite his declining health- that it was hard not to be infected by his joie de vivre.

Me and my dad, even in the hospital he was always smiling

 I miss his friendship, I miss his endorsements and I miss not having a grandpa for my kids to bear hug, to read with, to pass on his memories, his hopes, dreams and love. I just plain miss him, and no amount of pretending I don’t, carrying on with life as it should be, cracking jokes to mask the pain, cleaning out my mother’s house in a rote, robotic fashion, touching and handling my father’s the items that are only valuable to me, and having to discard the bulk of them, because how many watches, and collectible pens can one person really keep-all feels a bit like sawing away pieces of my soul.

These things that were so important and crucial to my dad have lost their magic and value as has so much of the fabric of life before his passing. When people ask me, which is proper etiquette on their parts, “how is your mom, how are you?”I want to say we feel like crap-we’re horrible, we’re reeling, we feel like we’ll never recover, there is this open, gaping wound which will never heal, the lifeline  of our family has been irrevocably altered and that I am mired in a pit of never ending guilt for all the things I should’ve, could’ve am so frustrated that I did or didn’t do during his lifetime- that it feels like the guilt is systematically invading every pore and crevice of my existence.

But the truth is- no one REALLY wants to hear that– none of us wants to be faced on a daily basis with the fact that each day we are living, death is just one more day closer. It’s morbid, it’s sinister and it does nothing to celebrate and help one find the joy in life. And so, I too am getting on with the business of life- because – what choice do I have- and hoping each day for the possibility that my father is fully aware in some other realm or state of being that we are doing everything we can to honor his legacy and that every part of who we are, as is kids, all the good we bring to the world is a result of him.

 I am also trying to find comfort in a passage written by Jim Boulden in his handbook, “Honoring the Memory”, which my mother and I were given at a recent Staten Island support group for survivors.

” I seem to be falling apart. My attention span can be measured in seconds. My patience in mintes. I cry at the drop of a hat. I forget to sogn checks Half of everything in the house is misplaced. Feelng of anxiety and restlessness are my constat companions. Rainy dyas seem extra dreary. Sunny days seem an outrage. Other people’s pain and frustartion seem insignificant. Laughing, happy people seem out of place in my world. It has become routine to feel half crazy. I am normal I am told. I am a newly grieving person.”-Anonymous.


  1. says

    that is why we have the sitting of Shivah, of Shloshim and the year. To give you time to heal. to mourn.
    no one expects you to be all good with it all in such a short period of time. (well i don’t, if you want to cry, i will cry with you).

  2. says

    Melissa, I’m sorry that you are having to go through this. I’ve not lost my parents but I know that at any day God can take them home. My husband has lost his mother and it was very difficult on him. Her passing happened at a bad time when they were not getting along very well. He holds a lot of guilt for that. From the sound of your relationship you and your dad were very close…Be glad for the time you had with your dad and rejoice in the wonderful man he was.

    I think everything you are feeling is totally natural. Sure you want to say I feel like crap. But then would you feel guilty for putting a person in a situation they didn’t know how to handle? And I know that’s probably one reason you haven’t said it.

    I’ll tell you something my mom told me once – you don’t ever get over losing your parent, you learn to deal with it. And each day it gets easier.

    Give yourself time. You’re healing the way you need to. Focus on your family and continue to honor your dad by showing love like he did.


  3. Meredith says

    I so agree with both shorty and Lesley.

    It is still so new, give it time….and take this time to grieve however you see fit because grief is so personal and different for everyone.

    As lesley’s mom said, “you don’t ever get over losing your parent, you learn to deal with it. And each day it gets easier.” We know this to be true by witnessing our own parents lose their parents…in time it will get easier to deal with and in time you will be able to celebrate the joys in life. You will be able to watch your own children become bar/bat mitzvah, graduate, get married, have babies of their own and you will revel in the pure happiness of it all just like our parents did with us.

  4. Elissa says

    One of the big issues you raise is you’re likely not the kind of person who often ‘feels like crap’. So when generally happy people like us are down…it’s often harder for other people to take. But make no mistake, you don’t have to provide excuses. I think it’s better to be honest about your feelings vs covering them up.

  5. martyne says

    I am so happy I took that picture of you and dady that day. He adored you desperately, almost as much as he adored ME! xoxo

  6. says

    I am reading this with tears streaming down my face. Ann of Ann’s Rant shared this link with me, and I’m so grateful she did. I just lost my Dad, too, and I can relate to everything you say, everything you feel. I’m so sorry for your loss, for your pain, for that feeling of I’m-never-going-to-be-okay-again, for the need to keep going when you just want to curl up in a ball and disappear.

    Thank you for sharing your soul with us. I’m sorry for both of us that we are going through this, even as those words feel way, way too small.


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