December 22, 2010

The Heart Heals ...

This has been a tough year for me, by an metric, any measurement, any way that any person could choose to gauge how much one heart can withstand and for how long. There are moments when I am still paralyzed by the thought that my father is really gone - he is really gone. I was there when he died and I wasn't ready for that moment. The up and down, steady ebb and flow of his breath, and taking care of him in his last weeks had so firmly taken hold of my life I could barely even think about what was happening. As I think about it now, I realized that this is perhaps the greatest gift of the mind ~ its ability to block out that which is so painful we don't know how to wrap our conscious thoughts around it.

I knew every day that he was getting more distant with the delta between life and death growing more and more small forhim and yet I could not see that final breath. I wonder if I'd known exactly when it would happen if I would have done anything differently? I have to think that I wouldn't have, that I would have still been there day and night by his side - wanting to be with him through every step of the passage.
I'm changed. Just need to breathe - somebody please, slow me down.

It is funny how I allowed myself to so fully feel all of it during the time it was all happening and now I can barely feel anything. I remember scenes. When he taught me to ride the bicycle and I looked behind me thinking that he was there, but he'd let go. I was doing it on my own and I had no idea that I'd done so well and was flying free on my own.

I cry in public places now. I used to not do that. I didn't want anybody to ever see that I was sad about anything. Always had to be the happy one, the funny one, the kind one. Now I am the sad one. People don't know what to do with tears really - they see you crying and want to figure out how to avoid direct eye contact. I no longer care. The flow is not something that I can control - I've learned that now. There was definitely a time when I could keep the tears from rolling past my eyelids, but that time is past now. When it comes, it is usually in a torrent and I have no control over it. This has been a profound lesson for me in all of the things that I actually control.

I control nothing and you know what?, that might not be a bad thing after all.

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