What the hell am I supposed to do now?

I’m ready to write, but how do I do it? How am I supposed to just jump back into the written word; be irreverent, be interesting, be entertaining, be meaningful, as if nothing has happened – as if my father’s death does not loom like a shadow. And it’s a mean shadow. It’s a shadow that leaves me alone much of the time, allowing me to hug and smile and laugh and take my daughter apple picking and share in my friend’s enjoyment over her new furniture. And then, when I’m not paying attention, it punches me in the stomach, doubling me over in pain and tears and grief. And the crafty bastard makes sure that I didn’t see it coming.

I don’t cry in the hours that I sit awake at night, or when people offer me condolences. I don’t cry when I am talking about my dad, or attending to the business that death leaves behind. I didn’t cry once in the 4 days following his death, when my house was busy with family and friends filling in the spaces and silences. But then Chris will remind me of his goofy laugh. Or Bee will open her little photo album and point and happily declare, ‘Bee and Big Guy!’ Or the new Bruce Springsteen song will come on the radio, and I will remind myself to tell my dad about his new album. And then remind myself that I can’t.

It is the natural order of things, I know this. But my dad was young. He had just turned 65. My brother is 24 and my sister is 22 and I had my dad for almost 10 years longer than they did, so how must they be feeling?

How do I write a post about the freaking most adorable things that Bee is saying lately? (Will you do me a favourite, Mummy? Look, Mummy, a helpicopter!) Or about what sex is like when you’re 33 weeks pregnant and plagued with heartburn? How do I let life back in without declaring constantly that yes, right now I’m smiling, but there is a shadow lurking, and it knows how to take me down?



  1. Shit, those shadows have their way with us. Just keep talking Kgirl, it will help, just keep talking because we are here to listen.

    I want to hear about all the adventures of Bee and her mom, and hell, I even want to hear about the sex!


  2. oh man, i know those shadows all too well. just write whatever you need to or want to. or don't write if you don't feel it. but we'll be here, ok?

    take care.

  3. Oh sweetheart. I wouldn't even let my husband fly with me to my mother's funeral because I didn't want my younger brother's loneliness to loom even larger than it already did.

    This time now it too much. Too big. It will swallow you in both good and bad ways. Maybe you will write. Maybe not.

    BTW, I don't know if you read it back then but if you wander in my archives to Dec 2006 and read the 2nd in my ghosts of christmas past series, I talk a lot about this time. Not to make comparisons. Just hoping to offer a tiny bit of solidarity.

  4. Write whatever strikes you at the time. It doesn't have to make sense, to us or to you...it doesn't have to be funny or entertaining or coherent. Get it out, if you can.

    Thinking of you.

  5. I don't know how but I do know you will figure it out.
    Hell, if you can have sex at 33 weeks with heartburn I have no doubt you can do anything.

  6. I don't know, but I do know writing helps.

  7. Write when you're ready. Write when you're able. Write what you want.

    It doesn't have to be funny. It doesn't have to be witty. It doesn't have to entertain us. Whatever helps you.

    We'll all be here. Ready. Listening.

  8. I have no advise, but I just wanted to wish you well.

  9. It is incredible how that grief can just drop kick you when you least expect it.

    I know it all to well.

    Keep writing. No need to be witty irreverant or anything. You don't even need to hit publish. Maybe write out what you might want to say to your dad about a new Springsteen.

    Maybe somewhere he is getting it.

    xo darling.

  10. Well, for one thing, you can talk directly to it, about it, and not try too hard, if that's what you need. We're not going to wander off like bad guests if you need to talk about real stuff, too.

    And you keep going. And you talk to him, and think about him, until it makes you smile to remember him. It takes time, though. It takes time.

    Hugs, honey, to you and your sweet Bee.

  11. As others have said, you don't have to be or do anything you're not ready or able to... we'll be here. Lots of love...

  12. Just write whatever comes to mind; one word, one sentence, one paragraph. Whether you hit publish or not at least it helps. As you can see by the comments we're all here to listen.


  13. Just like that, honey. Just like that.

    Thinking of you lots.

  14. I'm so sorry for your loss - it just seems doubly unfair that it sound happen now.

  15. I think that you just do it. Don't think about it. Whatever comes out will be beautiful, because it is you. And him.

  16. your asking all the right questions, keep writing, keep living - I'm so very sorry for your loss.

  17. Simple...

    How am I supposed to just jump back into the written word; be irreverent, be interesting, be entertaining, be meaningful, as if nothing has happened...

    You're not. You write what you need to feel what you need to feel.

    I wish you a long life.

  18. Not that I'm comparing the two situations at all, but I felt EXACTLY like this while trying to blog during and after my miscarriage (at 16 wks) last year. I wanted so badly that return to normalacy, but my heart just wasn't ready. Sometimes it helps to blog through the pain, sometimes it helps to blog despite the pain. Write, don't write - just do what you need to do.


  19. i've been thinking of you, sister. i know this is so hard right now.

  20. you do whatever feels right...and we hug you for it :)

  21. blah, blah, blogSeptember 25, 2007

    I think we survive grief by going through the motions of life, acting as if everything is 'normal' until one day it really is, or as close to 'normal' as we ever get.

    Shadow be damned, I frankly can't think of a more important time to celebrate the small joys of life and the adorable things our children do and say.

    Banality is highly under-rated.

    But even the shadow has its purpose. The pain and the hurt and tears will ultimately help you heal.

    And it's not forever. You will always miss your dad and be saddened by his death, but the day will come when remembering his goofy laugh will make you smile fondly.

    In the meantime, do what you have to keep him with you. Write to him, talk to him, tell him about the new Springstein album, Bee's latest venture, or how you are feeling today.

  22. Three years from now you'll be looking at a random photo that has nothing to do with your dad and it will still make you cry like a baby because it reminds you of him in some inexplicable way. But that's okay. So is not crying when you have so many people offering you condolences. That's not the time to grieve, it's the thousand and one other times a day that you will.

    My heart goes out to you tonight because I know what you're going through. My mom was 52. There is no good time. Just like there's no good time to get back into your life. It just happens.

    Big hugs to you and please email me if you need a shoulder to cry on. I'll probably cry with you if that's OK with you.

  23. What ever you want to write, we will be here. We will laugh and cry along with your beautiful words.

  24. You are a sargent in the army of emotion friend, an honorable veteran, just like your father. He was young in spirit & just begining a new chapter in his life. The shadow of grief will never leave, you will just become stronger against it. You will continue to battle it with weapons of joy, bliss & eventually alcohol *wink*.
    Uuuummm, would really like to hear more about the sex at 33 weeks..
    love & gefilte fish

  25. I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing, friend.

    I hope you are holding up well.

    My only advice to a person grieving is to live. Remember to laugh and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Cheesy jokes help too.

    If I can help at all, let me know.

  26. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss.

    Sadly, I know exactly how you're feeling; to be pregnant and lose your dad so relatively young, it's just so unfair.

    Sending you hugs.

  27. All I can say is I love you. And, I'll be here reading whatever you write...when you feel like writing it.


Talk to me.