Alright, stick with me people, I’ve got tons on my mind these days and you’re getting it all..earlier today it was the kids…this afternoon it’s more family issues and this time a little heavier issue.
Since my Mom died, I’ve had people ask me how I’m doing, which is comforting to know people care, but at the same time a difficult question to answer. You always go forth in life, life seldom allows you to wallow in your sadness and grief, especially when you have a family, job, and responsibilities. I know a classic saying is that things get easier in time. However, I don’t think you ever completely get over the loss of a loved one, especially an immediate family member like a parent or someone who played such an intense role in your life.
I often want to call my Mom and talk to her. I want to tell her about things, I want to ask her questions, I want to share things about my kids with her that I know she would appreciate and enjoy and yet I can’t. When I really start to forget her voice, I call her telephone and listen to her voice or I watch one of the videos I have of her…it gives me peace but also a tinge of sadness because these are the only things I will “hear” from her again.
Another question I get a lot is, “How is your Dad doing?” That is a hard question also…because I feel very much like I lost my Dad when I lost my Mom. The communication I have with my Dad is seldom and never initiated by Dad first. I don’t remember the last time my Dad called me- not even on my 40th birthday, Christmas, or Sarah’s 18th..granted my house phone isn’t working correctly but I have a cell phone which can be used for these special occasions. If I meet him on Skype or MSN it’s purely accidental….
I’ve tried to communicate to my Dad how hurt I am by his actions. However, my communication attempts fall on deaf ears or get met with nothing but angry responses. I’m trying to read up on grieving and how people deal with things, trying to respect the fact that my Dad could be going through things I can’t understand or relate too, even though I’m going through similar grief myself. Our grief is different and I can’t expect that he will act like me and how he is acting is unnormal. However, it’s hurtful never the less. In some ways I guess I expected Dad to be the parent in this situation and look after us (My Sister and I) and our families through this grieving time and yet he’s done exactly the opposite, he’s been very self centered and egotistical in his grief and made us to feel like he doesn’t care at all about us and our feelings.
To put a cherry on top of this grieving sundae, he began dating very shortly after Mom died and subsequentially married this woman without ever letting us (my family and I and other family who didn’t live near him or his new wife) meet her first, without allowing us the chance to attend his wedding, and without really letting us know much about this woman he was bringing into all of our lives. Again, a very obvious lack of regard for our feelings in any of this. One might suggest he had the right to look out for his own best interest regardless of our feelings, but as a family I think you always consider each other’s feelings, even when you’re moved on with your own family. You don’t just do things without regard for how they will impact the rest of your family- especially if you have a close relationship with your family and hope to continue to have a close relationship with your family. Of course the ultimate decision is yours but you care enough to include your family in major decisions, if just to help them understand why you make them.
It hurts to know how much my Mom wanted to be a part of her grandchildren’s lives…how much she wanted to influence them, be a part of their successes and big events in their lives, even if it were by telephone…she wanted to be a part of it. When my Mom was sick, my parents couldn’t travel of course. So they couldn’t come visit us, couldn’t share in our life abroad, couldn’t see where the kids went to school, see how we lived, nothing. I thought when my Mom passed that one thing my Dad could do would be to visit us, spend time getting to know his grandkids. Stay with us for several weeks- a month or so…and talk with them, walk with them…share their lives with them. He wouldn’t have to be alone and they really looked forward to sharing their lives with him…but it became very clear to all of us that we wouldn’t be the focus of his grieving time and while the children have never said anything directly, I hear it in small comments they make at special times of the year, like Christmas, or on the anniversary of my Mom’s death, or other special times…how much they wish Dad would have chosen to be more a part of their lives.
One of my daughter’s was telling me the other day how they had heard of a project which included asking grandparents a question on how they fell in love and how they knew it was true love. She said, she didn’t feel she could ask her Norwegian grandparents this question because she had never really witnessed anything that resembled love between them and they really just didn’t talk about such things…and My Dad didn’t talk about anything anymore that was personal, with them (or anyone)…so the only person they could have gotten an answer from was gone and they felt so badly about this…It’s very sad to hear your children say such things and know there is nothing you can do about it.
When my Mom use to talk about death, I’d say it would be the worst thing to not be able to talk to her anymore. She told me she use to talk to her Dad even after he was gone…I told her it wasn’t the same and she said no but she gained a lot of comfort from feeling he heard her and thinking of how she thought he would have responded to situations. I think a lot these days about how my Mom would have reacted to what is happening now, what she would have thought of how life has turned out for all of us? Is this what she wanted for her family? Is this how she wanted it to be? She wanted my Dad to find someone and not be alone the rest of his life, is this woman in his life now, who she had in mind? If only I knew my Mom was ok with all these things it would ease my mind…but I’ll never know…and so my mind turns and twists and thinks…more then it should…more then it wants too…
I do my best to go on with life. To not get caught up in all these things I really can’t do much about, but I was raised to be loyal to my family…as much as I want to just say, “ hell with you- do what you want and I will too…Who cares if you don’t care about us?” As much as I want to shove my pain and hurt feelings under a carpet and pretend they don’t exsist, they do….I miss my Dad. I miss feeling cared about by him…I don’t really know how to deal with all of this and family counselling across an ocean just ain’t happening…another one of the pitfalls of living an ocean away…there are many in life…but there are many good things too, which thankfully out number the negatives.
These people here are who I choose to use the majority of my energies on…the majority of my precious time. I’m learning from my parent’s mistakes before and now and hoping that in some small way I can be a better parent for my kids then my parents were for me and someday I hope my kids will be a better parent for their kids then I was for them…Well….I can hope right?
Sorry for the heavy writing my friends…I promise to lighten things up next time…and my moose hunt is still on…but no sightings for a couple days…maybe he/she knows I’m looking for them!! Oh and I am SOOOOO sore from working out with weights at the gym…I never knew I had muscles in my boobs…they just look like big heavy ol’ water balloons but I must have muscles in there cause I have such pain across my chest and in my armpits…ugh!!! Hoping the pain part of No Pain No Gain, won’t last very long….
Until next time my friends….