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.