It has been three months and two weeks since we lost my Dad. If there’s a part of my life that hasn’t been affected by grief, well, I couldn’t identify it for you.
Physically, I just don’t feel right and that’s something I never expected. It’s rare I go a day without a headache.
It started with the Grief Diet. No, that doesn’t mean I starved myself in sadness. That would have been cool! Instead it means that I ate all of the food well-intentioned friends and relatives brought to the house in the immediate aftermath.
When I wasn’t eating, I slept. The fatigue was unexpected too. Even my usually indefatigable mother was suddenly exhausted much of the time.
Subsequently the Grief Diet evolved into the Give Me All Of Your Carbs Right Now phase. It yielded five to seven new pounds that lingered persistently until very recently.
Honestly, I didn’t really care about the weight gain. Because I haven’t been caring about much. I put away the scale when my weight didn’t stabilize after a week or two. When I gave it a go last week, I was back to what has been my normal weight for the last year. I can work with that.
But the emotional heaviness I feel? That lingers. I cry even when I’m thinking about something unrelated to Dad. I don’t feel creative, or happy, or excited. I bail on plans. I watch Law & Order for hours. I dread the holidays and all of the “first ____ without Dad” milestones that lay ahead of me like a desolate road disappearing into the horizon. No relief in sight.
I feel my heart ache each time my mother tells me by phone that she’s OK, but I know she’s lying because her voice is tight, about to crack. I wonder what keeps me tethered to this world when the people I love are leaving one at a time.
Depression, my life-long nemesis, is clearly in play, and for good reason. I suffered a life-changing loss. Day by day, I’m trying to go easy on myself. But that doesn’t come naturally to me.
Why am I unloading on you (again)? I think I just want you to understand why my posts lack any pizzazz. Bear with me, friends.