To avoid feeling overwhelmed and hold back the tears due to loss, stress and worry, I’ve started delving into my ancestry online.
My therapist reframed what I was doing as focusing, rather than avoidance. She thought it was healthy.
Now that my father has passed away and my mother’s health has faltered, I’m really, really sad. I miss them both.
My father is gone. My mother is still with us, but I miss speaking with her, playing word games with her, walking with her, taking her out for lunch.
The pain at times overwhelms me. I don’t want to fall into bipolar depression, hypomania, or mood cycling.
To stave off the pain, I click through the family tree, digging further and further back.
Hate when hit dead ends, especially when it comes to my mother’s beloved Irish grandmother with whom she lived when she attended college.
I’ve been quiet lately. Out of commission. Taking it easy.
This holiday season brings tough firsts. First Thanksgiving since my father died in April. First Christmas coming up. My sister and I plan to remember him and observe our family Christmas traditions. We need each other. We miss our dad.
Seasonal affective disorder hit hard, too. As the days got shorter, I cocooned, became seasonally and situationally depressed. Seasonal depression, bipolar disorder and now my grief overwhelm me at times.
Taking care of myself….mostly. Seeing my psychiatrist and psychologist. Going to a grief support group at Jewish Federation & Family Services. Reaching out and asking for help, for support, when I need it.
SO IMPORTANT that you ask for and accept help. My insight into my need for help, reaching out for it and accepting it, has KEPT ME ALIVE.
When I was 18 years old and suicidal, realizing I needed help, asking for it and accepting it made all the difference.
Now that I’ve taken care of the business of death, I no longer need to numb myself from the pain of loss. Now I cry. Softly. Quietly. The tears roll down my cheeks. I miss my dad. I really miss him.