I was exhausted after the funeral. We all were. But family and friends were bringing dinner to the homeplace for all of us. And far away friends were in town. I wanted to go home, sit alone in the dark, and cry. But I couldn’t. There were more people to visit with. Talk with. And the house needed to be cleaned after everyone left.

And Mom. We had to make sure Mom was alright. We had to take care of her now.

The months prior to Dad’s death were some of the most exhausting days of my life. My husband and I were going through what seemed to be a never ending rough season in our marriage. I’d just started a new job, while consulting at my previous one. Finding time for much needed one on one discussions was nearly impossible with our jobs, three kids, my sick parents, and other normal life happenings. So we didn’t.

Most of my days consisted of work, a long ride to the hospital after work to be with Dad, a longer ride home after the hospital, sometimes a quick stop to check on Mom, a call to one of my sisters to check what they knew from the doctors, and then it all gets blurry. At home in the evenings, I’m sure I did laundry, cooked sometimes, helped with homework, and all the other things I’m supposed to do. I don’t remember. I was barely getting through the days. I’d fall into bed but only sleep sporadically then do it all over again the next day.

I remember trying really hard to stay strong during that time. Zoloft helped me put on the good face some days. I was coping the best I could but on the verge of tears constantly. My heart was breaking over and over every day.

Because of the growing distance between me and my husband. Because my kids needed me a lot and I couldn’t be there. Because my parents, who were strong and capable and always there, needed me to be strong and capable and always there. Because all Dad wanted was to get well so he could keep caring for Mom but he was getting weaker and weaker. Because the new job I thought I always wanted wasn’t what I wanted.

Nothing was like it should be.

Then Dad was gone. And then you do the things you’re supposed to after someone dies. The phone calls and funeral arrangements. The telling of what happened over and over again because he was fine a few months ago. And then we had to figure out what to do next. Because Mom shouldn’t be by herself.

And Mom had good days and bad ones but the bad ones were coming more often. When she couldn’t breathe she wanted us there. All of us. By her side. Just there.

Everything hurt my heart.

I felt raw.

It hurt to be around people and the better I knew them….the more difficult it was.

I wanted to take pain pills. But I didn’t have any.

I wanted to get drunk every night. But I’m too responsible for thatimage. I stuck to one glass of wine a few days a week. Sometimes two glasses. Sometimes more than a few days a week.

And I kept trying to be strong but there was nothing left.

Dad was gone. But I was too.

41 thoughts on “Gone 

  1. absolutely beautiful, this brought tears to my eyes. You describe so well how we try and be there for everyone else and lose ourselves in the process. I feel your pain.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you understood. I started writing this nearly a year ago but could finish only after more time had passed. I didn’t realize how depressed I had been until I started coming out of it. Again thank you for your kind words.

  2. That was beautiful. I totally relate to losing a parent. I relate to everything feeling like it’s not going right and trying to be strong for your family. I hope you’re feeling better now.

      1. It’s important to share these vulnerable, raw places. Thanks for that. It helps so many others feel okay to open up.

    1. Thank you Starla. I almost didn’t hit the publish button but felt it was needed. It is really raw and I feel exposed but it’s part of my story. I plan to write more about it as I find the words and the courage.

  3. Beautifully written. You captured the emotions of the situation well. I went through the same thing with my Mum and now I’m going through the it again with my dad.

  4. Oh my gosh, I’m sorry for your loss. We never really get over it, we do learn how to live with the grief each. and. every. day. There will always be a piece of us that continually grieves. That you so much for being brave enough to share.

    1. Thank you. Your comment means more than you know. This post was very vulnerable. I’m so much better now. God is always faithful….He never left me and I have an awesome group of people I get to do life with.

  5. Beautifully written. Thanks for being willing to be vulnerable and share your story. It helps others who are going through the same thing to know they are not alone. Your writing captures the grit and pain of it all.

    I so agree with your statement in one of the comments above, “I didn’t realize how dark it was until I started coming back into the light.” I haven’t lost a parent, but have struggled with other painful circumstances in my past and have found this so true.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  6. This is stunning, and so well written that I can actually feel your emotions at that time. The reader feels like they are you, that they are the ones going through these painful moments. Anyone who has experienced deep grief, and the exhaustion that comes with it, will be able to relate.

    The last sentence struck a deep chord in me. Just replace the word dad, with the pronoun ‘he’, and it fits me perfectly. When the love of my life died, something in me died too. It’s been 14 years now, and that something has never completely healed.

    This was beautiful, personal, and moving. Thank you so much for sharing it ❤

    1. Melissa thank you for your kind words. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right about the exhaustion of grieving. I think I was grieving even before Dad left us. Grieving the changes that his sudden sickness caused. None of it was easy. But here I am. There you are. And we’re ok. Thank God we’re ok. And we can help comfort others who are going through similar trials.

  7. I don’t come here often and you make me wish that I had now. If any more of your writing is this emotionally charged, I’m certainly a fan. Thank you for this piece.

      1. Life has an odd way of making you feel things unexpectedly. Thank you for choosing to share. I believe it helps us as readers relate but also know innately that we aren’t alone in feeling these emotions. Reading it expressed so well provides a solace that, to me, is just incomparable.

  8. Beautifully heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss, I know that after my grandmother passed away a few months ago I lost connected with everyone. With only my room and blogging to confide in. At the time I had almost no followers so I blogged through my grief and then took it all down because most of the words had been utter gibberish. But this, this was so beautifully put. I cried and I am not ashamed to admit it because it was the same for me. Thank you for sharing this, because sometimes I forget that it was okay to grieve, even if I did it in a different way to the rest of my family.
    Thank you x

  9. This is an amazing post. Thanks for allowing us to see into the life of someone we admire, being vulnerable to the point of pain, and helping us to realize we are not alone and there is hope that this, too, shall pass.

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