Allowing Myself to Grieve

My dad died in a tragic accident in May of 2018 and it's a day that I will never, ever forget. What started off as a relatively simple day that had positivity weaved within, came crashing down on me like a force I had never experienced before.

I just remember feeling an incredible amount of pain around my heart, and a suffocating feeling of grief. Nope. This can't be real. This can't actually be happening. The situation seemed almost like it was out of a movie- and that's not real life. I was told what I needed to do next: Call the funeral home, call the local sheriff's office, and get the guns. 

I have to call the funeral home.
I have to call the funeral home.
I have to call the funeral home.

I'm not sure how the hell I managed to call and talk to the person working at the funeral home without completely losing my shit.

I called my mom. 
She and I communicate regularly on Messenger, so my calling her is an extremely rare occurrence. I remember her answering the phone, I think saying "Yeeeessss?" in a good-natured sort of way....and I was frozen for a moment. I remember I lost my ability to speak for a couple of seconds...and finally spit out "Dad is dead."
I asked her to meet my husband and me at the funeral home once we closed up shop. I felt bad for asking her because she and Dad had been divorced for years, but I needed my mom. 

A few hours later (I think) we arrived at the funeral home and I was given the details, told my dad wouldn't look the same due to the tree falling on him, etc. Did I want to see him or have him covered up?
I did the hard thing and opted to see him. I focused almost all of my attention on his hands. They looked the same. They were safe, but they were cold and stiff. This is not how Dad should be. This is a nightmare. This is when the numbing started to happen. I could feel a deadening within my inner self, a cloak of darkness, wrapping around me.

Then you go to a room and you give information or confirm information. Thank goodness I had family there who could confirm things as I started to feel extremely overwhelmed. Then you had to make literal snap decisions on if you would have a wake or a direct cremation. (I knew he wanted to be cremated, but a wake? Oh....shit. Not something that I remember discussing.)
I remember standing and thinking "Shit. Shit. Shit. What would Dad want?" I took a moment to sit with myself and think with my gut. He and I both seemed to, at best, tolerate going to wakes. They were I think as two humans who lived with some amount of sadness within themselves on a regular basis, we found it to be depressing. I also opted to be selfish. There was no way in hell I could sit through a wake for my dad and keep my shit together. I could not bear it. 
My gut spoke and it said "NO."

Later, going to his house to retrieve all 40+ guns of shapes/sizes, I felt so much sadness and shame. My dad lived his best life outdoors, and inside his house, it was a mess. He was no longer alive and was not able to keep me from coming into his home like he had for so many years. I remember the time that he stopped bringing me over to his house when I was a kid. I remember around the time when I'd be outside, playing in the woods, and looking over at his house with some strange longing and sense of sadness and foreboding. I was so terribly curious and didn't understand why he stopped letting me come in. At some point I remember creating some sort of game with myself, how close can I get to his yard before I freaked myself out.

Everything came and slapped me in the face. Death. Sadness. Hurt. Confusion. 

I saw the inside of his home and so many questions came rushing to me.

I had anxiety over how absolutely fucking overwhelming it all was. 

I cried all I could cry that evening. 
I cried the next day.
I cried some the day after that.

Then I pretty much stopped crying. 
I pretty much stopped feeling anything.
I had a hole in my heart and too much sadness to contain, but the fact was that life forced me to "go on" even tho I had not fully grieved my loss. I had to go back to work, I didn't have a choice...and I felt so naked and raw. I was the executor of the estate, plus I had inherited felt like the world was upon my shoulders, and it felt very heavy.

I am beyond grateful and humbled for the help my family gave me, without them, I would not have been able to get anything done as quickly. There was so much to do. Even with the work that Dad had done to try and lighten my load, there

The auctions were had. 
The property found a new owner.
I learned a lot.
I also learned very little. 
So many questions about my dad and his mental health...I still have them, because I've been going back and forth for these few years on if I should start asking. I feel like I had a very obvious answer given to me when I walked into his house- but I'm so curious to see if anyone knows more. 

Around Christmas 2022, I started to feel extremely sad, and I realized it was due to my missing Dad. I had made some wonderful and brave decisions for myself and wanted to share them with him. My excitement, my nervousness...I wanted my dad's reassurance. (I'm not saying that my mom or husband, or anyone else isn't able to reassure me. I am saying that when someone is gone, sometimes they are the one you wish for at that time.)

One evening I came home from work and felt the urge to "let it all out". I almost felt scared, because I knew that I would be "speaking ill of the dead" but I felt like I needed to talk to my dad as if he were in the same room as I was. I learned after he had passed, that he may not have taken the best care of his Type 1 Diabetes as I thought he was doing. I was frustrated he wrote a loving letter to me and hid it away...never to write anything like that for me again. I was mad that I learned how much he loved me and how he spoke of me to his co-workers and family, but I had spent so many years questioning IF he loved me. I was upset that he (obviously) had depression issues, and never opened up about it to me. I really felt that there was so much he could have shared with me that would've made my time growing up, emotionally easier. I felt like I could've done more to be there for him, all he had to do was let me in. I was so fucking mad over how hurt he had been, and how much it felt like he had shut me out.
I was so mad over how much he had let go at his house. The well, the septic, and the electricity. The fact that he smoked inside his house, and being he was so susceptible to pneumonia...and...I was absolutely livid that he fucking cut that tree. If he had left the tree alone, he wouldn't have died.

I told Dad off.
I yelled. 
I cried.
I cried some more.

I unleashed ALL of the feelings I had buried inside myself since 2018. In one evening, I allowed a crack in my armor to form and let a whole bunch of emotional sewage spill out. It was exhausting. It was liberating. It made me feel a bit lighter in my soul than I had for quite some time.

The FEC program I'm in allowed me to feel like I was capable of unraveling some of this frozen tension surrounding this very emotional situation. For the first time in years, I was able to let myself feel my sadness, my pain, and my anger. I was also able to acknowledge that these were all valid feelings, and I was totally okay with having them. I was also able to see how holding these feelings back affected not allowing myself to grieve the loss of my dad affected me.

Please know that I know that this was an unraveling of a layer of grief, by no means is all of my grief released. I don't expect that to be something that is achievable and I don't mean to go out of my way to try. I do aim to keep letting myself go deeper into my felt senses and allow myself to fully feel in ways that feel safe to do so. To let frozen tension move, to allow more cracks in my armor to form, and to shed away layers of numbness that formed. I am so grateful to be learning tools that allow me to work on letting myself be vulnerable and feel. To bring humanness back into my life rather than being an emotionally shut-down version of myself. This is what I wish to help others do and experience- this is why I'm working towards becoming an Embodiment Muse. Being able to feel is powerful and it is truly one of the most beautiful gifts we get to experience in our bodies.


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