Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Year.

      It's been a year exactly since my dad passed away.  He's the whole reason this fitness journey, this blogging and this attitude change started.  I feel like I would be doing myself an injustice, if after all this, I didn't document how the whole mourning process went over this year.  I'm not a life coach ( although believe it or not some crazies message me and think I am.) I'm not a shrink or an expert on death or how you should mourn. In fact I'm not an expert at anything but working out and doing most other things half ass.  I do know what has happened to me over this year emotionally, and how I was effected, so that's the story I can tell. Maybe someone out there can relate or maybe I'm just a weirdo, whatever.  I'm sure this will get long winded so feel free to turn back now. Here goes.....

      You can take a quick visit here before I go on if you like (     ).  That way you got a recap and you understand what happened and how close we were if you didn't already know the story. I mean for a quarter century we only had each other.

     Early last November I remember the last day he smiled at me. I was over joyed and hopeful that he woke up for a little while.


 I will never forget it.  He was always so happy, laughing and smiling all the time no matter what. It was contagious. Then the morning of 17th as I sat there in hospice at the nursing home, holding his arm, my cheek on him, I watched him take his last breath. It was amazing. It was an honor. You could just feel the peace as it moved through the room. The sun began to come up and shine through the window. It was like the angels came to take him for me and my worry was gone.  I was relieved for him and happy he was not suffering.  I was tired.  And I expected to sob and sob but I didn't. I stopped and got a flu shot ( weird I know, I'm surprised I didn't stop for a pap smear too) and went home and slept for hours and hours. 

          Still no REAL crying.  I was angry though.  Very fucking angry and I was looking for anything or one to take it out on! Luckily that passed quickly. I even did things like adopt another dog and do this fitness competition to fill the void. Days and days turned into weeks and there was still no giant cry.  I began to feel very guilty over it. In fact one night it consumed me to the point where Greg called the hospice therapist on call.  I've ignored them every time they have reached out at this point because I felt I didn't need it.  I'm stubborn and I'd rather joke about things then really deal. I talked to her for a while, she was great, she made sure I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong and she assured me that one day the break down would come. She was right as rain and it poured....

      On they way home from regular activities I began to get choked up and anxious and then suddenly while driving down Ramsey St, the bottom fell out.  I can remember the song that was on: All I could think was I wanted to go back and I wanted time to slow down. I've never cried like that in my life.  My heart hurt so bad I wasn't sure I was going to survive.  My husband called me right in the middle of all this and it's like he knew it was coming.  "Pull over Shayna". " No I'm almost home".  He assured me he was on his way.  When he got there I was still balling and sobbing.  He held me and let me cry for what seemed to be an eternity and then like always I slept. It was excruciating, but at least it finally did happened and the guilt was gone. 

       You see people assured me it would get easier as time went by.  I know it is, but honestly it doesn't really feel like that at some moments. I cry more now since the big breakdown then I ever did before.  Thankfully these moments are short lived even if it may be almost everyday. You see, a little reminder of something he loved, or a song or a picture or driving past his home can just bring me to tears. I just want a hug from him.  I can just think of him right now and tears will well up in my eyes.  Luckily when the tears come now they are usually accompanied with a smile and a great memory.  Not many people get the privilege of a relationship like my dad and I had.  Not many at all.  It's the kind of shit people write movies and books about because its so fucking magnificent. No wonder my heart hurts so bad.  

      It wasn't just him either that went bad this year.  I mean I have a great life and I need nothing.  My husband provides for us like a champ and our family is incredibly blessed. I honestly am extremely happy everyday and have to basically pinch myself sometimes. Most normal days my biggest decision is to go to the gym again or nap...  But this year I was also slammed with people leaving.  My BFF who helped me take care of my dad, and was there for us both so much  ( we grew up together in PA and found each other again in Ft Bragg) had to move to a different base in Kansas.  DEVASTATED. I WAS DEVASTATED.  Then just a couple months later my buddy beyond any other buddy had to go back to Washington state for the army!  I WAS A TRAIN WRECK. I STILL AM. So we trained together everyday, spent hours together every morning and she was gone too.  Fucking army.  So even though I'm not alone..... I know I have great friends and family...This year still felt pretty damn lonely. 

     Losing people sucks. Duh. I don't keep as many close relationships as I did when I was younger because quality wins out.  It's ok though. I'm a big girl and we do cry sometimes. I know my friends not being in town didn't help this mourning process of mine. I guess mourning is different for everyone. Maybe some people have the big cry right away or constantly for weeks. Or maybe some people just stay angry forever.  I don't know.  I know this has all made me stronger and I step back and look at it all and feel incredibly lucky.   For me to get so upset over these relationships means they are absolutely priceless and can never be replaced.  People wait their entire lives for something so special to come along and some never get it.  Luckily I get to visit my best friends once in a while and keep up with them on the daily.  As far as my dad is concerned it brings me great peace to know that he's looking down on me proud as hell. I know he is proud of the woman I have become.  He keeps sending great blessings our way and I'm happier with my life then I ever could of imagined a few years ago. No doubt. 

I donated my dad to Duke University Medical School.  He was a teacher himself and would want good to come out of his passing. He always insisted on not having any big service or anything and he wants his ashes dumped in the Mon river. Which by the way is HYSTERICAL! He was so funny.  I joke with Greg all the time that we are going to come home and Norm is going to be waiting for us on the porch... In a box...from Duke..USPS.   Haha!  He could arrive anytime now and we will immediately head to PA to fulfill his wishes. I know he would of wanted to help others who are sick.  He was a great man and he gave a great gift. 

Stormin Norman you are missed beyond words.  I love you Dad!!! :)  


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