Saturday, July 27, 2013

One year

It's been a hard few days. Today marks the one year anniversary of my Dad's death. Unfortunately, it's actually a three day even because there's the day he had his accident, the day we waited to hear about what organs he'd be able to donate and then finally, today, when he was taken off the machines.

I started a more lengthy letter to my Dad on Thursday but it just didn't feel right. Mostly because I didn't know exactly how I felt. One minute I'm ok, the next I'm crying during the warm up to my Friday morning run and sobbing during my cool down. I've spent the last few days trying to be gentle with myself and others.

I've had a few moments of peace and I've had some that are not. The final goodbye is yet to come. On August 3 we will be interring his ashes in a family plot in rural southern Saskatchewan. It is a very small cemetery where all of his family are or will be buried near the farm that he was raised on. We will make our way there through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. On the way home we're going to take a slightly different route and go through South Dakota as well as Iowa.

I don't really know what to expect of this trip, just as I don't always know what to expect from my grieving process. But I do know it is all a sort of pilgrimage for me. Learning to let go of the hurt from a relationship where a father and his daughter could never find a way to hear one another, letting go of the guilt for cutting him out of my life, coming to terms with the fact that I will never have the chance to reconcile with him and that he never met my kids.

I'm learning to forgive myself. It is harder than forgiving him at this point. But I am learning so much. It seems that in some ways I am learning more from my Dad in his death than I did before.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Right now.

I need to learn to love myself. To believe in myself. To have courage in being who I am.

For many years I was taught that I could not trust my feelings. As an INFP, that's a pretty large part of myself that I am told isn't allowed to be heard. I'm starting to feel more and to take a chance in believing in it. Letting it show me more of who I am.

I've been self-abusive towards my physical appearance for many years. In my last year of high school, the day I stepped on the scale and it read 97 pounds was one of the greatest moments I had that year. Not good. I can tell you that I was probably 155 when I stepped on the scale four years later at the end of my Bachelor's degree. I was 130 just before I got pregnant with Sweet One, 135 after and now I'm sitting just under 140. All the running and pilates and yoga and chasing after children that I've been doing hasn't been helping as much as I hoped. Part of the problem was that I'd often eat out of boredom. So I started with and the first few days were hard but I think they're going to be ok. It is somewhat empowering to learn how much my body needs to be a comfortable weight (perhaps I'll even find my 'happy weight') and then to find foods that will leave me feeling nourished at the end. The foods I am putting in my mouth are quite healthy and I like that. (I also have a friend who has been doing this and knows that it scares me a bit so I'm sure she'll keep tabs to make sure I don't get stupid.)

I've been pretty angry over the past few weeks. It comes in flashes. I keep wondering if it is part of Kubler-Ross' stages of grief. I kind of hope so. Because that way I'll know that it will end at some point and I'll be better because of it. But I don't want it to cause any damage to my kids. It's always my kids. Every time I get mad and yell I look at them and remember how much it hurt me when my Dad would scream at me. How I promised my babies I would never do that. And now I do. But I can stop.

Less than a month until my pilgrimage. I have no idea what it is going to be like to travel so many miles with the kids, inter my father's ashes and then drive back. I hope I learn a lot.

I was sitting here, drinking my coffee and reading Glennon Doyle Melton's Carry On, Warrior. A friend and I went to see her in Pittburgh at a book signing and it was fun. I like her writing. While none of this is 'new', she writes honestly. Without holding anything back. With love and truth. To fully accept what she writes will mean that I have to fully accept myself. As I finished up this afternoon, something inside of me settled and said, "you will."