Thursday, April 8, 2010

Compounded Grief

I mentioned previously that I have learned that grief compounds itself.  For me that means that, in dealing with the grief of losing Ashlynn,  I also am dealing with the grief of losing my dad and my grandmother (actually both), one who I was very close too.  My grandmothers both died within a week of each other right before Andrew was born (2 years ago).  My dad died last year.  I want to focus a little on him. It is complicated with so many emotions.

There is a country song on the radio right now that brings up all kind of emotions for me.  It is called Highway 20 ride and sung from the viewpoint of the father who drives to see his son every other week.  This is how it started for me and my dad.  I would see him every other weekend and then in the summers.  As I grew, I saw him less and less.  Then when I was a teenager he tried to rely on me as his source of support as he went through his second divorce.  I hated that he wanted me to support him when he was not there for me.  He was an alcoholic and anytime we had dinner together he wreaked of alcohol and would take me to meet his friends at a local bar. I hated being flirted with by his drunk friends.  I hated it when he told me "I love you," because I didn't believe it was true.  HE DIDN'T KNOW ME, how could he say that.  Months would go by with no contact from him, and then he'd appear out of the blue.  Finally, I got tired of it and moved on with my life with out him.  He gave me no priority in his life, so why should he be one in mine?  When he died, we had not spoke in many years.  That's the short story.

At his funeral, I did not go near the casket or look at his face.  I hadn't seen him in years, I didn't want to refresh my memory by seeing him in a casket, dead.  It was strange to be around that side of the family in some ways, not knowing how they felt about me.  Relatives would come up to me one after another telling me what a nice guy he was and I actually started to believe it a little.  After all, I WANTED to believe it.  Everyone told my brothers and me that he had died in his sleep of cardiac arrest.  At the very end of the funeral, I learned that he actually drank himself to death and was found in his truck the next morning.  Hearing this infuriated me after hearing all of the good things about him.  Why did they lie and give me a false hope that he had changed? 

Anyways, back to the song,  I hear it and wonder, "Did he love me?"  "WHY? Why did you drift away? Why did you let yourself die inside?"  "Isn't a father's love for his child greater than that?"  Then I get all kinds of conflicting emotions of love.  It doesn't make sense, really.  There's so much there and I don't know how they can all exist at one time.

Here's the video:

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