Opening Post

Trying to Encourage Dad

Well, It’s been almost a month since Mom died, and in a way it’s gone really fast, and in a way it’s gone really slow. Some days I don’t even recognize that she’s gone – I pick up the phone to call her before I realize she’s not there.

I’m sure many people who have lost a loved one have gone through this – it’s just denial, a part of the grieving process. I went through it when my sister died, over 12 years ago. This picking up the phone to call her before realizing she’s just not there anymore. Doesn’t make it any easier to go through, tho, even realizing that other people have gone through it.

I miss Mom so much. I know in the end I complained about her so much, how demanding and manipulative she’d gotten, etc. She made me so mad sometimes! And I don’t want that part of her back. I just want the “real” Mom back. The her she was before the dementia took over.

I want the Mom I used to call and talk with for an hour, about anything and everything under the sun. The one who’s shoulder I could cry on when I needed to.

I miss the mom that she was when she wasn’t in a bipolar episode. The one who was so full of life, the one who could make me laugh because she never could get a joke! LOL

Mom was just a really special person. But I guess all women say that about their moms.

When I was a teenager, I hated my mom. She was my arch enemy! She couldn’t do or say anything right in my book.

But when I turned 23 and got pregnant with my first child, boy did that change! To me, my mom was brilliant (all of a sudden, right?). She knew everything there was to know about having and raising a child (she raised four of us), while I admittedly knew nothing.

I loved my mom. I loved her in a very intimate way. She was my best friend. Before the dementia. Then I lost her. Then, on December 24, 2017, I lost her for good. And now I grieve. Oh God, how I grieve. I am crying even as I write these words.

But now I call my dad every day, just like I used to call my mom every day. Just to see how he’s doing. And I try to encourage him through his own grief. I know he’s hurting every bit as much as I am, probably even more.
After all, they were married for 61 years! As a matter of fact, they had just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary a couple weeks before Mom died.

Dad is lonely. Of course he is. The other day, he was going through Mom’s clothes, getting ready to give them away. And I know that had to be hard for him. But I tried to be encouraging over the phone, telling him how he would help other women who needed the clothes he was giving them. He agreed, but you could tell he was still sad about it.

He said he went to a grief support group, and he cried. Then he got mad at himself because he cried. This is a man who never cries. I told him he did good, because he shouldn’t keep it all in, that that wouldn’t be good for him. I hope he goes back, but he’s not sure if he will or not.

Well, one way or another, we’ll get through this grief. It just takes time. I know with my sister’s death, I eventually stopped crying, but I’ve never stopped missing her. I know I will always miss my mom.

Wishing you joy and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,
Michele

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