It’s been a little over two weeks since my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I’m working not to focus on counting the days.
For me counting the days leads to rumination and isn’t healthy.
Disclosure – This is just my effort to process and to assess where I am and share that. I have a need to be witnessed. If you read, I thank you for witnessing what I’m going through. I do ask and hope that my sharing will not invite comparisons. I’m not looking to be compared nor am I inviting others to compare themselves to me. I’ve found that comparisons in either direction have been less than helpful, not terribly health either…
I have experience with other types of grief and how the grief cycle plays on my emotions. I’m trying to use this hard earned self knowledge to grieve in a healthy way and if I’m lucky, suffer less.
In the past when I have grieved I have sometimes been able to keep other aspects of my personal & professional life on track and sometimes my personal or professional life has gone completely off the rails.
In the early day or two after my father passed, I was able to keep the plates of my professional life spinning. Forward momentum, doing things helped me dip my toes into the pool of grief. I slowly inched in at times and at others collapsed backwards into the deep end.
Now, a couple weeks later, some of my professional life seems to be a little off the rails. My bank account is empty, literally. I lost one new client project all together, it was a bit flaky and wasn’t looking like a good project. Still if I had been on my game better, I might have done something useful with it.
I have a couple others where the combination of my communication challenges while grieving mixed with general communications challenges that seem to be everywhere have stalled 2 other projects.
The bottom line is that as I attempted to spin up these 2 plates, they never realized a healthy velocity, wobbled and crashed.
I have been able to inch forward on super small maintenance projects, but that’s not remotely sustaining in a financial way.
My father’s passing has required of me in a real sense and even more in an emotional sense the need to help. I’ve been working day and night, compelled to try and bring order out of the chaos of the plates he was spinning with his own business. This is a short term necessity for my emotional health and for my mother’s finances. I am not doing this alone, my mother and my brother are very engaged in this work as well. It’s taking all of us, our combined effort to figure things out and keep things going.
At times this has helped me to continue to only dip my toes in the pool of grief. It kept me busy with practical things.
I definitely still grieved. I did not avoid grief. I definitely have run through all the phases and emotions of the grief cycle repeatedly.
Keeping busy simply helped give my mind a break from grieving 24/7.
And the anxiety of my own finances running out is becoming a bit critical. I’m currently at my mother’s home, 750 miles or so from home. I don’t have the cash to return home let alone cover any of my bills when I get there.
I’ve got 7 days to get my house in order, literally. I’ve pulled that together before and I might again. It simply means picking up new plates and trying to balance and spin them again.
Regardless, as a person that experiences anxiety and has learned many ways of managing it, this new anxiety mixed with the emotions of grief and the circumstances, is not easy.
Again, being able to help other people is an emotional comfort. It’s helping me to manage the anxiety levels and keep things at a level 5 or 6 instead of a 9 or a 10.
I’m grateful for being able to help.
I’m anxious about not being able to do much to help myself.
I’m writing this partly to simply get it off my chest. I’ve shared this anxiety, fear with others and I’m grateful that they were able to hear me out.
I’m doing things to try and get the plates spinning again. I’m just not ‘there’ yet. It’s party challenging as well because this month started on such a positive note. It was one of the first months I’ve had in years where I could see the light at the tunnel, could almost feel the warmth. Large sustaining projects that might have been enough to help me build a new future entirely were in my grasp.
Now, I can’t tell where that is at all. Communications problems on that front have obscured the light and the money I thought would be here by now, is probably at least another month away.
So that’s where I’m at today. I’m trying to help where I can, its the only momentum I have going for me at the moment. I’m working mentally and physically every day (splitting my time between accounting work and equipment work for my dad’s business) and trying to get things started again with my own projects. I crash from exhaustion each night just before 10 and wake up to repeat around 7.
I’m grateful to be getting enough sleep in terms of quantity. The quality isn’t always there. I’ve had a lot of dreams including or involving my Dad. I’ve had a lot of nights where I wake up a half dozen times per night and typically get back to sleep in minutes if not 20-30 minutes at worst.
I’m eating ok. Not outright unhealthy and not as healthy as I would like. A lot of cookies and deserts delivered by caring friends and family right after my father’s passing, have been consumed by yours truly in the last two weeks. I’ve been walking or running a couple miles almost everyday as well, even doing most of that with my Dad’s large dog, Diesel.
Diesel, a Bernese Mountain Dog, may need a new home at some point in the future. He was my Dad’s and he is large. My Mom has not decided to re-home him yet, lots of conflicting emotions, however that might be a next step.
Diesel’s a great dog, but for reasons that might be obvious above, I can’t take him myself. While he was the runt of the litter and maybe two-thirds the size of a normal Bernese, he’s still about 100 lbs and with all the fluff, looks to be 140 lbs. My lease allows for one small pet, something the size of a cat and I’ve got one of those already.
So life is complicated. I write this on a Sunday morning as I prepare to head to Aldi’s and get some yogurt, sweat tea and granola with the last of the money in my bank account.
I’ll be ok. I’ll get through this. I’m not having thoughts of self-harm or ideation or anything. I’m ok enough given the circumstances. I’m just grieving. This is where I’m at.