Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dealing with grief

Ian left today. He'd planned on leaving on February 14 but since my dad died the day before, he stayed an extra couple of days to be sure that I was ok. Ian is my rock and when I'm upset I rely heavily on him. I'm so glad that he could stay with us as he was able to help out with some of the practical things to do after someone dies. I miss him now that he's gone.... but I don't miss him nearly as much as I miss my dad :(

I'm not very good with death or grieving, but then I guess not many people are. I admire those that can work in an ICU or in hospice with people who are dying because I could not possibly do it. Right now, I'm a little puddle of loneliness and grief during and after and it's all I can do to get through the days.

One thing that I find helps me is to physically write down my memories and what I'm feeling. I'd tried to do this in another completely private online blog but that wasn't as good for me - it seems that I have to physically write my feelings. I find that it helps to get the memories out of my head. So often when I'm overcome with grief it's because I have these waves of memories washing over me. I end up feeling like I'm drowning in these memories. Writing them down helps me get them out of my head - I can still think about them, but they aren't clamoring for attention, you know?

Even so, my grief for my dad isn't going to just go away. He's part of me and his death has left a gaping raw-edged hole where he used to be. It will be a long time before I can think of anything related to him without it hurting and making me cry.

One other thing I've found is that it's easy for me to turn hurt into something else like, say, anger. So here is a small rant: I'm completely shocked and appalled at how expensive it is to die. The obituaries alone cost about $200 per paper per day. That's ridiculous! The death certificate costs $50, and then there are all the fees associated with changing things over to the survivors. My dad's body was donated directly to the University of Alberta's Division of Anatomy where he will help budding physicians, so we don't have to pay for cremation or burial. But if we'd had a service it would cost even more - it's crazy! I feel like these corporations and government offices are taking advantage of people at one of the most difficult points in their lives. (ok, rant over)

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