Oct 23, 2009

My Dad

Nothing can prepare you for that early morning phone call telling you that someone you love is gone forever.

My older brother had the unbearable task of calling me at 5:40 in the morning 4 weeks ago to tell me that our father was gone. I did not know it was possible to feel so much pain. I was inconsolable. What kept running through my mind, and still does, was that he died 9 days before I was heading home to Nova Scotia to see him. 9 days. 9 days. 9 days.

My husband, who has been so amazing and supportive, had us all on a plane and home that night. We said goodbye to my dad two days later. I had a panic attack for the first time in my life that morning. How was I going to be strong for my mom? In the end I wasn't. It was such a shock to see my dad that I didn't handle it well.

My dad was out for a walk, doing what he loved. He didn't suffer. He lived for 17 years after quadruple bipass surgery. He walked me down the isle at my wedding. He met my two boys. All of these things should make me feel luckier than some, including my husband who lost his dad 8 years ago. But it doesn't. All I feel is heartbroken, cheated, angry and lost.

Most of all I feel denial.

It is so much easier to pretend that he is not gone and to imagine he is just out and will be back again soon. I wonder when it will sink in that he is really gone forever? I spend every moment on the verge of tears thinking of the what ifs and wishing it wasn't true. I didn't know that grief could be so physically painful. I took a pregnancy test today because I was worried the nausea was morning sickness. Thankfully I am not pregnant. That would have been too much to bear right now.

My children now have no grandfather. It aches so much to write that. I had so many images in my head of all of things Grampy would teach my boys.

There are so many things I will miss about him: the stories he told over and over and over until I could say them word for word, the silly jokes, the words that Dad made up like wrastle instead of wrestle, the way he said P O P instead of pop, watching him play with my son (his little buddy), going for walks together down Green Bay road, trips to the beach, playing Euchre and 'going blind', the Kiss of Death Tour (long story) we took every summer, going to the store to get me a treat even though I am 35 years old, his laugh.

I worry about my mom so much and wish I could take some of her pain away. I know as awful as I am feeling right now, it is so much harder for her.

I wonder if I will ever be the same, if our family will ever be as happy as we were.

I just want to also say thank you to each of you that have reached out with your kind words and support. It really does help to know that others care.


  1. Kelli (Kellidaisy)November 2, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss Sarah - I can't even imagine how hard this must be for you. We are all here for you though - whenever you need us. I am sure you will get to see little pieces of your Dad in your boys as they grow.

  2. Miranda (qt_pie1602)November 2, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    So sorry for your loss. I hope this post helped heal your heart even if just a little bit. Take comfort in all your wonderful memories. It sounds like you made some great ones over the years! My heart aches for you.

  3. Sarah, you and your family are in my thoughts. I could not imagine what this must be like to go through, how hard to try to keep yourself strong. I agree with Kelli, you will begin to see your Dad in your boys and that will warm your heart with memories.

  4. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences, Sarah. I'm so sorry to hear of your tragic and very sad loss. Aside from losing a child, there is no greater pain in the world then that of losing a parent, especially a great parent, like the one you have descrived in this post. I know it must be so hard for you right now, and for your entire family, and I'm so sorry... he will be with you forever, though, just remember that. And keep the memories alive! And I agree with what Kelli said - he is in your children, too. God bless you... HUGS and love. Take care... xox

  5. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. Everyone you know has been thinking of you, wishing they could offer some relief, or take some of your pain away. When you feel sad and alone, at least know that if you could look behind you, you would see dozens, perhaps hundreds of footprints of everyone who cares about you walking with you.

    I'm so sorry you're hurting. My husband lost his dad almost two years ago and it was, and still is, hard. You will always be sad, but each day it will hurt a little less sharply.
    You will tell such wonderful stories to your boys, and they will know by the admiration you share with them that their Grampy was a hero and a wonderful man.

  6. It's the most awful club to belong to, that's for sure. It is hard but you have to try to console yourself with the wonderful things that you will always have of him, and find a way to document your memories and the fun family stories so that your beautiful boys will "know" Grampy in their own way and feel that he is a part of them as they grow.
    Much love.

  7. I'm so sorry about your dad. I lost my mom who also lived in N.S. (it's so hard to think of her in past tense) just over a month ago as well. The sorrow is nothing that I can describe in words, the worry for the parent left behind. I really feel for you and your family. I wish you the ability to be able to find some kind of peace at this difficult time, and that you are able to take comfort from the kindness, thoughts and prayers from those around you.


  8. I lost my dad suddenly almost a year ago now. He was ill -and had been for a long time- but one day they were planning his long term care and the next afternoon they told us he would be gone by morning.

    And I was thousands of miles away without any flights available. I spent the night curled up around the phone (as much as my 8 1/2 month pregnant belly would allow) crying and waiting for my mom or one of my sisters to call and say it was over.

    I still catch myself thinking, "Oh, I have to call dad and tell him..." before remembering that he's gone.

    His voice however is still on my parent's voice mail. I sometimes call it when I know that my mom is out. Just to hear his voice.

    I miss him SO MUCH.

    It will get... not easier, but less raw. Less intense. But not for awhile. It's a journey.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. My dad suddenly died 3 1/2 years ago, and it was a year before I could talk about him without crying. I recommend getting some grief counseling, because I didn't and, looking back, I think it really would have helped.

  10. Hey Sarah, I am feeling so very sad for you. Reading your Blog post brings my own gut wrenching feelings to the surface. I lost my mom in March and I wish I could tell you it gets easier. I will tell you the best advise a friend gave me:

    You have just lost a parent and that's a biggie. So for one whole year you get to say what ever you want and all the people close to you have to give you a by. You also have to the same for other members of your family. Since March I've had a lot of "firsts". First Easter without my mom, first birthday, first mother's day (the worst one by far) and I can tell you I am dreading Christmas. I get very angry when I hear a friend say "I'm going to my mom's" or "I have to help my mom today".

    Give yourself permission to feel everything. Spend time with your boys and your husband and let them take care of you for a little while. It will never be the same but the sadness gets better.

    So much I could say but just know I really feel your pain. Lots of hard days ahead but all a necessary part of the healing. Sending you lots of hugs.


  11. Oh Sarah, I can't imagine how difficult that was to write, but you did it beautifully. The comments everyone has made are so lovely and kind and insightful. I can't possibly add anything more except that my heart aches for you and your family and that you know I'm here for you ALWAYS.

    Much love,

  12. I am so sorry to read this and my heart is breaking for you. Wishing you my heartfelt condolences and the hope that every day it gets a little easier to forget the pain and remember all the love.


  13. Sarah,
    I'm so so sorry for what you're going through. I think of you all the time. I bought a small gift for you and I think it will help - I'm going to drop it off today.

  14. Sarah,
    My heart is breaking for you. I can't imagine how painful the last few weeks have been for you. You've conveyed your feelings so beautifully in this post. My condonlences to you and your family.

  15. Hey.

    I lost my dad in August. It devastated me. I'm still devastated. Someone said to me recently that there's nothing in life to prepare you for the life-avalanche that is losing a parent. It's true. It's too true.

    Just wanted you know that I understand, so well. And that my heart goes out to you.

  16. Sarah,
    I'm sorry you lost your father. We lost my father in law last summer when my son was only 3 months old. Luckily he was able to meet such a wonderful man.
    For us it was fast as well, he was diagnosed with cancer and 11 weeks later, 10 days after he told us, he was gone.
    It is hard and I still get sad that my son and soon to arrive son will never know their Grandpa.
    Hang in there, you have your memories and they will get you through the hard times.


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