As the weekend ends – feeling fragile

I think I’ve made it through my weekend pretty well. Very little disagreeing with my son. We both worked hard on it. But I am feeling fragile right now. I went to a concert today. Two concert pianists. As the first one started to play, I almost lost it and had a VERY hard time holding back the tears. My dad (who passed away this past May) played the piano. We had a grand piano in our living room the while I was growing up and as long as my parents had their house. It looked a lot like the one at the concert. The sound of the solitary piano filled me with grieving for my dad. I composed myself. The second pianist started playing and I was back in my grief again. Every time I thought of my dad, through the whole concert, I was choking back sobs. Afterwards, I tried to mention it to the friend I was with, because she is aware of how I can be emotionally, but couldn’t because the tears and grief immediately took over. It’s kept me on the edge all evening. Not of self injuring, just emotional frailty. I want to be held and able to cry. But that won’t happen. I talked to my brother on the phone for 45 minutes. How are you doing, he asked. I tried to say something about it, but felt myself slipping. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this now. I’ve dreamt of my dad a lot lately. And the experience of being with him as he died. Loss. Inside, I feel like a little girl whose dad is no longer there for her. Abandonment? I’m 51 years old now. You’d think I’m adult enough not to be this bothered by it, yet I am. I’ve asked my dad to come to me as a ghost if he can. I just don’t want him to be gone. He had a TON of his own issues to deal with, but I always knew he loved me.  

I miss you, Dad. I love you. 

Feeling Fragile

I’ve been with my mom for three weeks now, a week and a half since my  dad passed. All the other relatives have returned home, but I’m still needed here to support her and tidy up all the loose ends. Yesterday, we chose a burial plot for his cremains. We also went to visitation for a good friend of his who passed a week after he did.

All of life seems to be about death right now. Maybe that’s why I broke down last night and cried for my dad to come back and tell me it is all OK. I opened his bedroom door, hoping to see his ghost, but didn’t. I lay in bed, hoping his image would appear at the door with a twinkle in his eyes and a loving smile, but nothing was to be seen. I, his 50 year old daughter, cried and cried for the father I had lost.

It was his time to go, but I NEED to know that he was OK with it and how his life had played out. I had hope to have that conversation with him during his last days, but, although he was not in pain, breathing was so difficult as his lungs filled, he couldn’t talk because of the effort. At one point, when palliative care was decided (hospice), he asked me if it was the right choice. All I could answer was that we wanted him to be comfortable. I knew, and I think he did too, that nothing more could be done to try and heal him. His heart was failing as the valves leaked and constricted. He could no longer endure or survive surgery. How do you tell someone that the doctors can’t fix you anymore?

So after months of feeling better than I have in years, I feel like I’m about to crumble into a childlike heap of tears and emotions of loss and abandonment. But I can’t. I am needed as a pillar for my 88 year old mom.

Is this, then, my test of recovery? Will I hold strong now, only to fall apart once I am home and she is safe here? I hope not. I don’t want to fall back into that pit. I want to live and flourish in life. I have new friends who support me in ways I never experienced. I know I have to feel the pain, the loss, and know that it doesn’t have to consume me. I can feel it and be OK. I can, I can. I guess that needs to be my new mantra.

In Peace, He Passed

English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My father passed away early this morning. It was peaceful and his family was with him as he went. I am so very grateful for all the support I’ve had from fellow bloggers as it helped me to be in a place where I can more steadily bear this loss. If it had bee a year ago, it would have been a very different story.

Thank you all.

 

Fear and Loathing

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The river of life

I’m not at home right now. I had to return to my parents’. My dad is failing – as in death. I fear his death. His body has gone through hell over the years and it is a miracle that he is still alive. I loath this whole situation. My mom needs me, though, and I am and will be here for her. I love them both very much. This is a difficult part of life. A part I’ve never dealt well with. Mortality. There’s no coming back once the line has been crossed. I’m glad I never crossed it during any of my struggles.

This situation has caused me to reflect on all of my suicidal ideation episodes. I feel horrible about the emotional pain I have put others through over the years. I feel very calm about where we are at with my dad. He seems to be at peace and all that is left is tiredness. The hourglass has almost emptied. I’m confused by my calmness. All of my BPD seems absent. Am I in shock? I just don’t know.

Realities

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Yesterday, my husband and I took a walk across the Foresthill Bridge. It’s 730 feet high, the third highest in the US. At least one person commits suicide, by jumping from it, every year. At the midpoint, there were several names and dates scratched in the paint of the handrail. Each one named a person and the date of their death. It was very sobering to stand where they had stood and contemplate what had brought them to that same point on the bridge, with the intention of never walking off of it. Looking over the side was dizzying. They must have been extremely determined, and hopeless, to climb up and step out. There’s a call-box right there, imploring them to not jump, but reach out for help.  How many make the call? How many don’t? How many choose neither and return to their life with no one the wiser? They were very sobering, these realities. It was a cloudy day yesterday. Heavy with thoughts and emotions.

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IMG_2360I thought about all the times I’ve felt everyone would do better without me around. But I could not jump off that bridge, and I won’t. I will continue my search for strategies, methods, meditations, beliefs and actions to help me survive and heal here, on Earth and alive in my world.

Death can be very abstract until you see it up close and real. Those names and dates were real. And a caring, grieving family member or friend scratched them in the paint so that the person wouldn’t be forgotten. Nor their pain and desperation. Someone was the last person to speak to them. Someone discovered them, fallen. Someone had to pick up the crumpled, lifeless body. Someone had to find the family and let them know what had happened. And then there are those the person left behind. Those who knew of their pain, and those who didn’t. But they were all left with the loss of that person in their lives, and how they would take that knowledge forward into their own. I hope it made a difference.

Below the bridge flows the north fork of the American River, flanked by beautiful forests, tumbling to join with the middle fork in an area known as the confluence. It’s an area enjoyed by all kinds of people every day of the year. To see such beauty and energy so close to such sadness and desperation is difficult to comprehend. But in seeing and reflecting, I know which scene I want to reflect my life. I hope all those who choose to walk the bridge to the middle will stop and use the call-box. My next walk there will be to enjoy the view and beauty, before I continue my walk to the paths below where life is exuberant and ongoing.

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Do I make life better or worse for others?

Tonight, I sat on the deck with my dog and wrapped her rope around my neck and pulled. I want to be here, but I don’t want to always be “that way” or fighting with others.

I stopped when I got to the point that choked. I thought of all the kids who play the “choking game”. I don’t want my life to end that way.

Just hit a rut.. I’m still here and plan to stay.

Uncertainty

The Age of Uncertainty

The Age of Uncertainty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I’ve doubted myself a lot. Quite a lot. I’ve doubted my ability to be a decent wife and a competent mother. I’ve wondered if my husband and son would be better off if I left. All I seem to bring to our lives is chaos, anger and arguments. My emotions then plummet into turmoil and depression, self doubt, questioning any value I offer to anyone by my presence. I feel as if I make every day, every situation worse. I no longer know what to say or do that will have a positive effect for myself or those I care about, so I’m afraid of each interaction – no matter how small it may be.

Shambhala Card

#5

To overcome uncertainty is utterly good.

Commentary:Uncertainty here refers to doubting yourself or the existence of basic goodness. When you don’t punish or condemn yourself, when you relax and appreciate your body  and mind, you begin to contact basic goodness in yourself. So it is extremely important  to be willing to open yourself to  yourself.

As human beings, we have a working basis within us that allows us to uplift our state of existence and cheer up fully. Because we have a mind and body, we can comprehend this world. Existence is wonderful and precious. We don’ know how long we will live. While we have our life. why not make use of it? Before we even make use of it, why don’t we appreciate it?