Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In the Midst of Heart Ache

This is so much harder than I thought possible.

These past few days have been filled with a listlessness, a sad countenance, a sad heart.

I see my Dad in every corner of the house.
I sit in my office and look at his pictures, the cross that was on his casket, the wallet that he carried everywhere, the belt he always wore. My office is filled with bits and pieces of him, tucked on every shelf, propped against the wall, filling my home with his memories.

Through the busy~ness of this season, I cry unexpectedly, I feel lethargic, I have no appetite.
I didn't expect this, couldn't predict this grief, this missing him, his presence and wit, his smiling face and wisdom. Nothing prepares you for this void.

I try to think he is here with me, his memories will keep me warm and safe but at the dinner table the other night, as we celebrated my son Dominick birthday, there was a void, an emptiness. It was all I could do to bear it, I was near tears the whole time, watching my mom get her plate and sit next to an empty chair, she always prepared a plate for my dad first.  We all tried to get through that dinner without breaking down, and to tell you the truth I couldn't wait for everyone to leave, so I could cry in the solitude of my room.

After all the preparations for the funeral are over, as we continue our life, that is when it hits, he is not coming back, he is not here any more, I can't ask him a question about Italy, ask his advice on business, joke with him, talk to him, he is not here.

This is what grief is all about, the mourning, the sadness, the realization that someone is passed from your life, ready or not, they are gone.

The holiday will be hard, we are all trying to keep my mom busy, through our own grief and tears.
The past few days I felt I could not get out of bed, I didn't want to, I found a great fatigue washing over me, making me listless and lethargic, no ambition, no energy, no emotions other than sorrow.

I woke up today, this early morning and tried to get my head on straight, to tell myself that I can do this, I can move forward, through the pain, through the missing him, through the sorrow.
I tried to tell myself he is here, with me always, the memories, are here, he is watching over me.
This is what will get me through.

One day at a time, one moment at a time. I am blessed to have him as a father, I am blessed by so much in my life.

I can do this, a little at a time.


  1. In the Orthodox Church, we say Memory Eternal when a loved one goes to sleep in the Lord. I learned that we shouldn't say "passed away" or "died". I didn't learn this until my own Father fell asleep in the Lord (three years this coming March).

    I am sorry for your loss. Everyone mourns and grieves in their own time. The numbness and pain eases up over time. It never really goes away completely. Give yourself all the time you need and cry as much as you want. And remember to take some time for YOU.

    My friend, Charlie, told me that my Father is with me all the time now, not 300 miles away in Pittsburgh when he was still alive. That gives me comfort and makes me feel better. I hope in time you will feel that peace too.

    Take good care of yourself.

  2. Time does make the pain less....However, I think of my parents every day and miss them many times. The Holidays are especially hard because someone is missing from our table. But when I look into the eyes of my new granddaughter, I know life goes on and my folks are smiling with me. Diane, Garnet Valley, PA

  3. Oh Susan, I have tears in my eyes. I can't even imaging your pain. I absolutely dread the day my parents go. It's not fair....why can't we be here forever or just go together at once.
    Only time will heel. I give my love, my hugs and kisses.
    Bernadette Alpini

  4. You think you are prepared, because after all your parents are older and you expect them to die at some point. I used to think I was sympathetic when someone I knew lost a parent. The truth is, until it happens to you, you can't really understand the depth of the pain and the longing to have them back. Both my parents are gone now, and there are still times when I think to give them a call about something funny that happened, or something interesting in the news. I don't think that will ever change. We console ourselves with all the wonderful memories we have of times we shared. Things are fleeting, but it's the experience we share with our families that support us through the losses. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.
    Chris Riviello