On June 3d 2018, at precisely 7:01 pm, my Father transitioned to the Light. It was the night that I died inside. You may think that I handled it well – for that certainly is the image that I put forth , yet as I was grasping at straws to hold on to my sanity, I really had fallen to such depths that really, I didn’t know when or if I would ever get out of it. I was now like everyone that had been close to a parent and lost them: I was a child who would have to go through grief – and hopefully get better as time went on.I took a week off work. The end of the school year was near, and it certainly didn’t feel like the time to have to explain everything to a supply teacher. And so , after going through the motions and legalities of it all – death is quite the business – I was left standing – smile on my face and devastation in my heart.
Though I was surrounded by family and friends , I had never felt so alone and empty. It hurt to walk. Food lost its taste and mind fog had set in. Only then did I start to notice that my heart had broken – and that I was headed straight to a sad, cold and dark place. Contrary to what I had done before in my Life, this time, I let myself go there, in moderation. I knew that I had steps to honour – and that it was going to be the most difficult thing that I had done so, to date. I had faced burnout before because of autism, stroke and Alzeihmer – but I had never ever been to the midst of desperation like I was facing now. I existed: a moment at a time – a second at a time. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep – people got to me. I lost the glitter in my eyes and the hope in my heart. I had lost my best friend – the man who still held so many of my secrets – the one who had brought me guidance throughout my Life – was now gone. I was alone ( or so it seemed ). I only vaguely remember the next few months. I know I went to Jasper with my husband and my son – yet I recall nothing of the trip, except for a few moments and conversations. After almost a year of eating plant-based and sugar-free ‘good’ food – I revolted against my body and began eating meat and sugar again. I ate in quantities which were out of character for myself – but I didn’t care. Many friends reached out to me. They saved me: a message here – a small hello there … you know the routine … Summer ended ( and again – I remember most none of it ) and September reared its face. Truth be told – again – the last semester passed on without my realizing it. I know that many times, I nearly broke and almost asked to take some time off … People were constantly finding me – asking me to help ‘them’ with their issues – and they never seemed to worry about mine. I was tired. Life exhausted me. I didn’t care about many things – I was sinking and fast. I decided to set myself some goals: walking my grief away … I walked a million steps in 100 days. I reached goals – I succeeded in other forums – but I was still so lost. Grief inhabited me …. It comes in waves – they say … and then it will get better …. My grief came in tsunami form – and didn’t get better.
As Christmas approached – I allowed myself to hit rock bottom. On Christmas Day, surrounded by family and dogs – I wailed and cried and silently screamed. I don’t remember much of that day either, to tell you the truth – because it was perhaps too painful to deal with things. Yet I allowed myself to feel what I had to feel … I was in ‘liminal’ space – and as Heather Plett had taught me to do – I sat there . I observed and I waited until I saw a glimmer of light. It didn’t come that day , nor the next – nor the one after that … I was quietly beginning to feel desperation. Had it not been for the careful and attentive ear of a choice few loved ones, I would have fallen into a ravine and gotten very ill …. but fortunately, that did not happen.On February 4th 2019 , I looked in the mirror and I woke up. I literally woke up from a bad dream. I looked at myself for the first time in what seemed like months and I saw what I had become. I looked tired. My eyes were dead and my skin looked sallow. I tried to wear a pair of pants and they were too tight. My hands couldn’t close , and I noticed that my knees were cracking again. I noticed that my energy was almost gone and that my intuition had all but disappeared. I had become that person whom I often saw coming to ME for help. I had fallen – and it was time to get up. And so I did. I set out a plan – for the next day. I, after all , had done this before.
Every day, there would be goals. Plans. Things to do to slowly get better and heal my broken heart, my torn spirit and my exhausted body. I decided to take things slowly – one moment at a time – and to rebuild myself – again – but this time – better and stronger because I am aware of what needs to be done … When One is ready, it doesn’t take long to make changes and to feel better and things have immensely improved in the past few weeks. I am eating plant-based again. I’m listening to music. I’m rebuilding myself – a simple moment at a time and this time, I’m sharing my journey with you – so that you may find inspiration to get through whatever it is that you may need to get through. It’s time to put everything I know into action – for myself. And yes – I still miss my Dad and often write: F*** I miss you – and I always will. But it’s time to move forward – He wants and needs me to . And so I am . It’s not easy … but #watchme. I’ll do it.
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