Monday, June 20, 2016

Fathers' Day 2016, Minus a Father

Dad with Anders at Scholars Academy Holiday Feast in 2010
When I woke up this morning, my first thought was that I had to get over to the hospital to be with my dad in the ICU.  Then I remembered that he isn't there anymore, because he died last Tuesday and we had his funeral on Friday, two days before Father's Day.  My first Father's Day without a father.

Anders, Dad and Lars, Anders' First Birthday 2004
My dad was only 69.  It wasn't "his time."  His whole body shut down on him way too early before he got to see any of his grandchildren graduate from high school, let alone dance at their weddings or hold a great-grandchild in his arms.  It's not fair and it sucks.

Dad Taking Selfies at Lars's Confirmation, September 2015
The funeral service was beautiful, just the way he wanted it.  Dad picked out all the music he wanted and although there weren't many in the congregation, the choir loft was packed full of singers.  Because there's nothing else we could do for him except sing.

At the Funeral: Sister Susan, Cousin Allison, Me, Sister Janice, & Cousin Kerri
It was nice to have my sisters, aunts, uncles, and a few cousins together at the funeral, especially since they were flying in from California, Iowa, Minnesota, Chicago, New York and New Jersey on short notice.  But having everyone together like that WITHOUT Dad just made his absence so much more conspicuous, so surreal.

FrankenWhiggish Rose Applique
I worked on some needle turned applique while I was sitting in the hospital the first week, back when we thought that he would get better and come home.  I can't even look at it now.  It's the same project I was working on in the waiting room when I took my dad to all his doctor appointments and speech therapy appointments.  It's like sickness and death are stitched into it and now it's foul.

I did go in my sewing room yesterday, looking for something cut up and sew to take my mind off Father's Day, but nothing felt right.  How can I do something so frivolous when my house still smells like the lilies my sister-in-law sent to the funeral home, when we haven't even gotten the ashes back from the crematorium?  All I can do is clean.  Thankfully, both of my boys are away doing fun summer things this week.  They needed a break from all the sadness and my dad would want that for them.

I don't need anything, and I'll be fine.  Just not today. 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

So sorry about your dad - I lost mine a long time ago way before his time too, he was only 64 and sickness took him way too early over 20 years ago now. It takes time - lots of time, soon it will be all the good memories and the sadness well eventually go away as you think of all the good times. So glad that your family were all together that always helps I think. Put the quilt away for now, some day you might want to go back to it - you can never tell.

Stacey said...

Sending you love, Rebecca. Every day.

Loretta Roe said...

Thinking of you, and your family and sending a giant NJ hug. Take this one moment, one day at a time. God bless! - Loretta Roe

Barbara Sindlinger said...

So sorry for your loss. You are right, he was too young to pass. Sending prayers to you for comfort.

Caroline said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My dad died at 67, 3 years ago now. Fathers Days suck (more so because different countries celebrate it on different days so we can't even get over it quickly once a year!). I hope you can find happy thoughts amid the sadness, and surround yourself with family and friends.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

So hard Rebecca. My prayers are with you and your family. And hugs too. Early death is even harder. I hope your quilt becomes,filled with beautiful memories instead.

SJSM said...

So sorry for your loss. Each day is painful but slowly there will be moments where you will rejoin the world. Having family, friends and an active life does help as well as your faith. As said by others slowly the good memories will will overshadow the sad. You will always miss him but you will see in yourself and your kids little things that will remind you of him and know his legacy goes on. My prayers are with you and your family.

colleen said...

You will always feel the loss but you will also always have the memories. I am working with a team of mental health professionals due to profound grief one of the things I have learned is that the brain doesn't know that when you think about a pleasant memory that it is a memory it is the same as if that memory is the real thing happening.....unfortunately the same for the sad or unpleasant memories
They have also taught me you can make the "happy " pathway stronger by using it often

Enjoy your memories

Rebecca Grace said...

So Colleen, does that mean that the more time I spend looking through the old pictures and reliving the memories, the more I am reinforcing happy pathways? Or reinforcing unhappy pathways because the old pictures remind me of what is lost?

Anonymous said...

Your father is sewn into the fabric of your being and will always be with you.
He is carried through you to your children and eventually through to theirs.
That's my definition of DNA.
I hope it comforts you as it has since the loss of my Dad when I was 20 and he only 45.
Hold your memories close, they will cushion your sadness.

Debbie said...

I am 2 years ahead of you on this journey. it took a while before I stopped reliving those final months and days but eventually remembering happy times became the more constant memory. still miss him and expect his phone calls. One of the last times he called was to ask me if I still was happy with my new bernina 750. He was happy that I spent the money to get the best, it makes sewing on it a good memory.

Pony Driver said...

Rebecca, I am so sorry that you lost your dad....he must have been a wonderful man to have a daughter like you. I am glad that you have good memories to hold on to. I will pray that your burden lightens over time.

Chris Denno

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks so much, Chris.

Patsy said...

My heart sank when I read your post. My dad died 8 years ago and I remember how hard it was and my heart goes out to you. If it helps, my dad was the first really close family member that I lost and I feel like he's with me all the time. I can't tell you how much comfort that brings me and I hope it happens to you. I'll be holding kind thoughts for you and your family during this time.

sewyouquilt2 said...

death is never easy on those left behind. cherish the happy moments you had with your Dad and know that he will be always with you in your heart. hugs.someday that quilt will not have bad memories attached to it.