Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Still upright, barely

As most of you already know, we found out on the 20th that my father had passed away. My brother received a call from the police that morning for permission to enter the house for a welfare check after concerned neighbors had contacted them. What they found was not good and it started a whole storm of events that is still ongoing. Those first few hours passed in a blur. My brother called me at work and I lost it, but quickly tried to regain my composure to deal with everything. I walked over to Jim's office and he sat with me outside for awhile so I could try to wrap my brain around everything. As I've talked about here, I'd had very little contact with my dad in the past year, which makes his death even more complicated than it would have been otherwise. I also had to quickly make a decision on whether I'd continue with my plans to walk in the 3 Day Walk as I was scheduled to get on a train to SD a few hours later. Ultimately, I decided to still participate in the walk and I'm so glad I did. Alyssa and I talked a bit about it at the beginning of the trip and then I put it aside for the duration of the weekend. I think the distraction was good for me, but it didn't stop my nights from being very long and holding little in the way of sleep.

Without meaning to, my brother and I divided the tasks that needed to get done with him serving as point person for the coroner and funeral home and me dealing with all the legal stuff once I got home from the walk. To say that things are complicated would be an understatement. Aside from the swirl of emotions surrounding his death, there is also the financial hornet's nest that we are left to deal with. Earlier this year, my dad switched me from being executor of his will to just a backup, in the event that his tax attorney couldn't perform the job. Thank God he did that. Even without being the executor, the amount of paperwork I'm having to sort through and the information I'm having to provide the attorney is taking days to get through. We took a trip out to my dad's house in Arizona over the weekend, which was tough for a bunch of reasons that are just too much to post here. We came back with 6 file boxes of paperwork that needed to be sorted and organized before I could decided what needed to be copied and mailed to the attorney. I'm still in the middle of it and it's just draining.

In terms of the emotional fallout, it's been pretty low for me. With the exception of my outburst when I first found out, I haven't really been able to cry and deal with the emotional stuff. I think part of this is having to stay strong to deal with all the practical stuff and part of it is still being angry over what happened earlier this year and the mess that has been left. How calloused to be angry with someone who is no longer here, right. And yet, I can't stop ping-ponging between being so incredibly sad and so very angry, with a background anxiety that I can't shake at all. I also feel like my brain in a fog , which makes focusing difficult. And sleep. Ha! Haven't had a good night's rest in almost 2 weeks. I sleep, but it's light and I wake up a lot in the middle of the night and feel just as tired in the morning as I was when I went to bed. I'm sure a lot of this is just going to take time to sort through.

Originally, my mom was going to stay home for Thanksgiving because she had made plans with a family friend to hang out. Once we realized we'd need to make a trip out to Arizona that weekend, she came down early and we had a good little Thanksgiving dinner at the house, just the two of us. [Jim and my brother hung out with us in the morning, but we insisted they do they're normal dinner plans that afternoon.]Even in the fog that my brain is living in, I managed to pull together an honest to goodness traditional dinner in a few hours. With enough leftovers to eat on when we got back Saturday night. It was really nice to have a real holiday with her in the midst of all this, even if we did do it in our pajamas. :)

I'm back at work today, but it's hard getting back to the real world. I've been tucked in my little cocoon of family, our house, a few friends and the tv for so many days that it's hard getting back into the swing of things. For everyone that emailed, called, sent Facebook messages, etc, thank you so much. They mean a lot to me and I'm so grateful to have such warm and caring friends. There are still many that are unanswered and I swear I haven't forgotten about you, it's just taking me awhile to get to everything.

I'm trying to take things one day at time and just get through as much as possible each day. I know things will get better. I know that eventually all of the craziness will be worked out and I'll be able to actually grieve properly. But for now, I'm floating along, trying to keep everything in order and maintain some semblance of normalcy.

21 comments:

That Girl said...

I think you're handling this as best as you are able to. There will be plenty of time for the tears later, after all the "must dos" are taken care of. It'll come when you least expect it. Until then - don't beat yourself up for your feelings. Let yourself feel how you feel and validate that. There is no wrong reaction.

Winnie said...

[hugs]

take care of yourself.

R said...

I don't think you should be worried about sounding callous. You be you and let the feelings and thoughts be what they are. I'm sorry you have so much to deal with. Let me know if you need someone to lean on.

Cat said...

My heart goes out to you. Hugs.

WeezerMonkey said...

Amazing post, considering all you've been through recently. Not nearly as amazing as you are, though.

wan-nabe said...

that is not callous. not at all. and you shouldn't feel bad about the way you feel, whether you think it's "right" or not. just do what comes naturally and always know that you have friends to lean on whenever you need an outlet. i think of you every day and i'm sending you prayers, but you know that. <3 <3

Nanette said...

I don't think that's callous either. It's hard enough to lose a parent, but to have to deal with a complicated relationship with that parent? I imagine that's not easy at all.

You are an amazing woman and I admire your strength.

The loss of my father wasn't under nearly the same circumstances, but please know that I'm here if you ever need to talk/vent, etc.

venn said...

Sending some more hugs your way.

Jen said...

You know I love you and am here for you, whatever you need. xoxo

alyssa said...

You are doing an incredible job handling everything. The relationship you had with your dad was so complicated. I'm so thankful you have Jim, yourmom & bro to lean on. Sending you blogger hugs and I'll continue to pray for strength and wisdom for you and your fam!!! xoxo

jane said...

These circumstances may have destroyed a lesser woman. Not you, my friend. Take care.

Laura said...

You poor thing. Lots of hugs.

A Feminist Gold Digger said...

I'm so sorry, I didn't know about this. Hugs.

Leslie said...

((((((Amber)))))))

You are in my thoughts. I know this isn't easy. Please remember that it's okay to feel what you feel. There's no right or wrong here.

Here's to grieving and healing. Hang in there.

ssinca said...

I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. hang in there, you are stronger than you know.

Jessica said...

<3

California Girl said...

You are handling this with a lot of grit and integrity. It can't be easy. You have been in my thoughts daily :) Sending you love...

dapotato said...

i agree 100% with weemo. hugs.

and your honest about what you're feeling is inspiring. and probably will prove beneficial in the end.

can't wait for sunday! :)

Diabolina 3.1 said...

i had no idea! kiss you. your heart is in my prayers!

Emily said...

Amber, I'm so sorry to hear about this. Losing a parent is, in a word, complete shit (ok, two words), and I can only imagine that the recent problems you and your dad had are making all of this harder. These first few weeks pass in such a blur, and then comes the task of figuring out how you keep going. Which you will do, but that doesn't make it easy. All I can say is that I am really sorry for your loss and am wishing you as smooth a ride as possible as you start to get to grips with all of this. Sounds like you've got a lot of really great people around you who're ready to give you as much as they can.

Lilcee said...

I'm sorry but I can't finish reading this post w/o crying.

I know you're doing the best you can. I think you're doing a great job so far and things will get better.

[hugs]