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Monday, March 24, 2014

What Do You Do When...

What do you do when you've had a bad few days, or weeks or even month? Do you power through the gloom? Do you reach out to friends or do you curl up and keep to yourself? There are a few other options I could come up with, but I'll keep them to myself.

I've found when the going gets tough, I disappear into books. I need the escape. I need to think about other 'people' and not what's happening in my life.

Earlier this month, I lost my dad. He was 89 and dealing with Alzheimer's for years. The last 9 months were especially horrific so I'll admit to being relieved that he's no longer suffering. But I've discovered that it's hard not being a daughter anymore. I like knowing my parents are together again somewhere after 17+ years of separation, but I miss them a ton.

Flying to Texas for my dad's funeral, I dove into Do Or Die by Suzanne Brockmann. I needed an escape and she provided it big time. (As she usually does for me.) Then as soon as I finished that book - and it's a biggie - I dove into Falling For The Marine by Samanthe Beck. I think I should mention that this book made Samanthe a USA Today bestselling author! A huge accomplishment and I'm so happy for her. She definitely deserves it since she's an awesome writer!

But now that the books are finished, I've found that grief is still lurking, telling me that no matter how much I tried to not think about my loss, I can't get away from it.
(Here's one of my favorite pics of my dad and daughter from about 15 years ago when he was still in good shape. This is how I like to remember him.)

Losing my dad was much like losing my mom in that I felt peace knowing they were finally at peace after dealing with such horrible health after years of struggle. But losing my dad brought home the fact that I no longer have parents and made the loss that much greater. I'm feeling doubly bereft, I guess.

I haven't cracked another book because I guess I'm feeling like if I don't deal with this loss now and if I keep putting it off, it's going to come back and bite me in the butt. I've been moving in slow motion the past couple of weeks and I'm counting on time (and a good psychic/medium) to pull out of it.

I have to admit to being much like my mom. She talked about everything to everybody. She worked through her issues out loud and never hid from the world. So for all you who already know and are probably tired of hearing me 'talk' about it, I apologize. As I said... I'm working it out.

So, what about you? What do you do when life lands those hard punches that get you down?


Wynter Daniels said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I am currently dealing with my own father's downward slide. I'm also a sharer! Which is a huge help to me when trying to work through loss.
Just as water does, grief finds its own path, and does eventually get hold of us. If you find solace in books, I think that's a fine place to escape temporarily. Everything in its time.

Anne Marie Becker said...

My condolences, Dee J. Such a hard thing to lose someone who was instrumental in creating the person you are. I think it's great that you talk about it, share photos, etc. I lost my mom two years ago, and it's still tough sometimes, but it seems to come in patches now. I'm so glad your dad's not suffering anymore.

Wynter, I loved your comparison to water - so true.

Marcelle Dubé said...

My condolences on your loss, Dee J. I can't begin to imagine how you feel, but if talking about it makes you feel better, I say go for it. Scream and shout, if that helps relieve the pain.

Dee J. said...

Hi Wynter,
Thank you and I'm sorry you're going through a downward slide with your dad. It's so hard, I know. I never thought about grief taking its own path, but you are certainly right about that. I wish you the best in your journey with your dad. Thanks for stopping in.

Hi Anne Marie,
Thank you. Sorry you lost your mom. Two years is still pretty fresh in my opinion. It's just hard losing parents, period. But there is peace in knowing the suffering is over. Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Marcelle,
Thank you. I guess I'm pretty much an open book. Not sure if that's a good thing or bad, but it is what it is. Thanks for stopping by.

Rita said...

Not easy times. Hugs. I think we each must find a way. There is no right or wrong thing to do. What's right one day may be wrong the next.

Dee J. said...

Hi Rita,
I think you are very right and make a good point. Life and feelings are ever changing, ever evolving. What works today and in this situation, might not work tomorrow. Thanks for stopping in.

Elise Warner said...

Dee: I'm so sorry for your loss. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. My husband was diagnosed with it about six years ago and it is heartbreaking. Do you have a support group to turn to? I belong to one and it can help. Sometimes we even manage to laugh at life. Remembering my mom, I know that the good memories come back. Hugs.

Maureen A. Miller said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your father, Deanne. Age. Illness. They all factor in, but "loss" always hurts.

I still haven't come to terms with the fact that my mom is gone. I just think of her as "away".

I pour myself into work. And I always have you guys! :)

Shirley Wells said...

So sorry for your loss, Deanne. It's such a painful thing to go through.

When the going gets tough, I tend to lose myself in books - mine and other people's. I'm like Maureen in that I think of my mum and dad as just being 'away'.

Sending lots of hugs.

Toni Anderson said...

I'm so sorry about your loss Deanne. There's nothing easy about loss or grief. My biggest regret is living so far away from my family. I miss them.

Dee J. said...

Hi Elise,
I have good friends and wonderful family to talk to and lean on. I'm so sorry about your husband's diagnosis. I pray that science will find a cure/treatment for Alzheimer's. I'm keeping you guys in my thoughts. Hugs back at ya!

Hi Maureen,
Thank you. You are so right. The age and illness do factor in, but it's the "loss" that stings. I guess it does at any age. And I totally agree with you! I think of them as "away" so I'm not able to talk to them "now" but one day I will talk to them. It definitely helps me get through the tough times.

Hi Shirley,
Thank you. Yes, I think the "away" thing is a good mechanism. At least it is for me. Being on this earth isn't forever, so thinking I'll see them again makes me hurt less. And of course, pouring myself into work has helped a little. It's a process... Thanks for the hugs.

Ana Barrons said...

I'm so sorry, Dee. I've lost both my parents and I know how devastating it is. I'm sending hugs and warm wishes your way!

Dee J. said...

Hi Ana,
Thank you. Someone brought it to my attention that I am no longer a daughter and that just struck me so hard. But I still feel like a daughter, you know... I just don't have my folks right here with me now. Thank you for the hugs. Always welcome and appreciated.

Helena said...

In a similar situation I read one book after another for weeks. In my case I read Mary Stewart's romantic suspense and Georgette Heyer's Regency and Georgian romances - books I've re-read numerous times but still enjoy, and which I know are "safe".

I don't think there's any requirement to stop escaping and start dealing with grief until that's what you really feel like doing - there's no prescribed timetable, and each person has her own way of handling things. Take it easy on yourself!

J Wachowski said...

Oh Dee...Such a hard thing. I'm supposed to be a word person and I have no words that seem enough, or right, or worthy.

I also get lost in books when things are tough. I re-read favorites. Find new things to absorb me for a while. The mind needs to rest from grief. And a story can be restful as a dream.

I think grief is circle. You cover the same ground again and again. Hopefully you expand your heart and your endurance as you make your way around.

May you have all the strength you need for the journey.

Dee J. said...

Hi Helena,
Sounds like you had some great rereads to help you through. There's nothing better than a great "safe" book. And I agree... everyone has their own journey at their own pace. Thanks for the support... it's much appreciated.

Hi J,
What an amazing way to think of grief, but it's so true! You go round and round with the same feelings, but they do seem to get easier to bear as you take the circle. Wow. I'm going to remember that, thank you! Wow. That is going to stay with me.... Thank you again! And look at absolutely had awesome words!

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