Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Breaking the Silence

I have been silent for a long, long time.  I thought I was dealing but a few events of the past week have shown me that I'm not.  I haven't been running, just ignoring it. Hoping it would go away.  Hoping that it really didn't happen and that if I just went on with life as "normal" then it would all be as it should.

It just doesn't work that way.  Life has presented me with a new normal and though it resembles the old one, it is different.

The passing of my father was so very unexpected.  So blinding.  So harsh.  I thought we'd have at least another 20 years together.  He was on the mend.  The surgery was a success.  He was up and moving and spending the night in his own bed in his own home.  He was supposed to see my son grow.  He was supposed to stay at my house several more times.  He was supposed to laugh and heal and be happy again.

It's been three Sunday's since he passed.  Since the phone call that gutted my soul and left me a sobbing mess.  For a week I was transported somewhere else.  Somewhere where funerals were planned, stories were shared, tears were shed, and many embraces of comfort were given and received.  And then... back to life.  Back to Logan where everything looked the same.  Back to laundry and dishes and meals.  Back to getting things done.  Routine.  The sweet comfort of routine.  The past week to be forgotten.  Moving on. 

I thought I was dealing.  I had moments in private where I remembered.  I got past it.  People ask how I'm doing and it takes me a minute to realize what they are really asking.  Not the "how are you" but the "how are you".  Fine.  Really and truly fine.  Doing better than expected.  Taking comfort in the gospel.  Going forward.  Realizing that life is really really short.  People deal with this every day.  It's the order of things.  I'm not the only one who has lost a father and no special treatment is expected.  I'm fine.


I didn't realize until Sunday, Mother's Day, on the way home from my mom's.  I wasn't doing fine.  I wasn't dealing.  I was pushing those emotions away, unsure how to deal.  Unsure how to feel.  Unsure whether I should be worried that I wasn't a messy pile of goo on the floor at least some of the time.  Should I have worse days?  Am I emotionally stunted?  Do I laugh anymore?

I was talking with David on the way home and voicing these thoughts for the first time.  Conversations with friends felt forced and uncomfortable.  Was it me or them?  Did I forget how to talk or do I just make people uneasy because I'm not talking about it?  Neither one of us knew the answer. 

Then I told David how mad I was because of the things that my dad didn't do.  The areas where I felt I had gotten the fuzzy end of the lollipop during childhood through to adulthood.  I felt angry that there was no more time to "get it right".  No more time to work on our relationship.  No more time to express my love.  No more time to get the conversation right, to get over the awkward stage of starting it.  And I felt guilty for being angry.  Guilty for daring to even think something negative about the man who has moved on from this life.  I did it anyway.  I listed all the things that bugged me and I dug deep.

Funny thing is that the deeper I dug into my past, determined to prove that this man had done a bad job, I couldn't hold on to my steam.  My anger was curbed and even dissipated as I realized how many more good things there were.  How many times of kindness, laughter, fun.  Tender moments that stand out more than all the rest.  Counsel given, love shown.

I've been putting off writing about my dad because I didn't know how to say anything.  I didn't like the picture my mind created of this event.  I could only see myself blubbering uncontrollably as I attempted to put into words the things that were happening in my life.  And yet I couldn't write anything else either.  Anything else was so... trivial.  So unimportant.  How could I just skip this life changing event and write about things like my gardening attempts or the increase in potted plants due to the funeral without actually talking about the loss?  It would have felt like a betrayal to my soul.

I am doing better.  I am thawing out.  Writing this is a big step for me.  It's one thing to have it written in the privacy of my own journal.  I can say anything I want and no one is the wiser.  But here.  Here is different.  Here is admitting that something happened even though all those who read more than likely know already.  Writing it down and sharing helps me deal.  I am dealing.  And now it's mostly good although I miss him terribly.

This picture was taken on July 14, 2012  Dad's 62nd birthday.
He passed away on April 21, 2013 


  1. Even though I don't know you all that well, I appreciated your comments about Bishop Hubbard. My dad has been gone for 7 years now and the missing part doesn't go away. The sadness eases with time; and I get great comfort that maybe my Dad is getting a second chance. Maybe even your Dad is helping my deal to accept the Gospel.

  2. I love you, Lora. My heart is with you. I have felt many similar feelings when I lost my sister. I know that isn't the same at all, because this is you and your story and your Dad, but I know what you mean about new "normal".

    I still have days when I dissolve into a blubbering mess -- today for example, I heard a certain song on the radio, one I hadn't heard for a long time. I had to pull over to the side of the road and have a good cry. For me, it helps, helps me let out my feelings, helps me make them real, and even helps me let them go. Then, I smiled and remembered all the fun we had together and how happy that song used to make us. She's been gone 8 years.

    I cannot possibly imagine what you are going through considering the suddenness of your Dad's passing and well, because it's your Dad. I love you and I'm here for you in anyway -- to laugh, cry, yell, talk, or just sit and be.

  3. Love you Lora. You are a great example to many around. I hadn't had a chance to deal with uncle Neil's passing until I got home from North Dakota just the night before the funeral. Was so good to be there with all the family and to realize families are forever. Love you and thanks for your words. Cuz David..

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  5. I remember when my father-in-law passed away suddenly 11 years ago driving away from the cemetery and thinking, 'How can all these people just be driving around like normal when OUR lives are changed forever?' We miss him so much. His birthday is next week and it's on our calendar just like everyone else's. I think we'll make a cake and celebrate!

    Love you Lora! You are wonderful :)

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