When you experience a great loss that changes your world drastically, it is easy to slip into a sadness that affects your everyday life. That sadness can quickly turn in to a sorrow that grips you fiercely. It’s an awful way to feel. I know because I’ve been there before and I nearly let it consume me. :link:
I find myself not only feeling as though I shouldn’t smile or laugh at things, but feeling outright guilt for wanting to. I’m afraid to make eye contact with people for fear that the sadness in my eyes will infect them, thus creating more sadness. Music has different meaning now. Songs that once brought a smile to my heart are now promptly skipped on my iPod. I try to read and I find that I have to keep going back because my brain cannot focus and retain the words. This isn’t healthy and I need to change it. I need to find the happy again.
It was a tragic and bizarre set of events that led my life to be where and what it was for the past 30+ days. The tragic loss of Shaun brought me to Colorado. It also brought my father there from Arizona and my cousin, Noreen, there from Tennessee. We were all there, together with our family, because of Shaun.
The timing of my father’s illness was both a blessing and a curse. The blessing part is because he was where he was when it happened: in civilization. If he had been home when it struck him, who knows what would have happened to him. (Seriously, that fucker lives in the middle of nowhere; like 40 miles from the Mexican border.) The curse part is, well, the fact that he was sick in the first place of course. His surgery and extended hospital stay of 21 days are what kept me in Colorado for so long; with my family.
Here’s where I find the happy…
Did I want to be in Colorado because Shaun died? No. Did I want my father to be sick? No. Did I want to be away from my husband for four weeks? No. Was I surrounded by the love and support of the most awesome group of Irish bastards that are my family? Yes, yes I was.
Those four weeks were some of the worst of our lives. But you know what? We had each other. All of us. We weren’t afraid to cry in front of each other, hug each other, break down in front of each other, laugh (yes, laugh) with each other or even indulge in too many high-balls together, (ok, maybe that was just me) Just being around each other made the whole fucked up situation a little more bearable because not one of us was alone. And that, Internets, is how we find the silver lining. We have to be able to do that in situations like this or we’ll end up bat-shit-crazy and lost in the throes of depression. And no one is much good to anyone else if they let that happen.
I’m still devastated by the loss that my family has endured. I’m still sad. I’m still angry. I still cry. But that’s not all I do. I think about all that time I spent in Colorado with my amazing family and I do, in fact, smile. Because in a world where we’re all working and paying bills and dealing with life’s day-to-day struggles, when would I ever be able to spend that much time with the people who I love that live so far away?
Even though it was a horrible event that landed me where I was for so long, there was good there as well. There was love and there was togetherness. At the end of all of this, my father moved in with my amazing Uncle Pete and Aunt Arlene instead of going back to the middle-of-fucking-nowhere. He’s with a brother who needs him more than ever, as my Aunt and Uncle were the people who raised Shaun from the time he was just a few years old, losing him was doubly painful for them. He was their grandson as well as their “son”. Yes, my father is right where he should be and that makes a lot of people happy.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to bring the funny back to this blog (Shut up. I’m fucking funny.) but I’ll get there. In the mean time, I’ll share some of the happy from my last day in Colorado when my fam decided to get together for a day of food and football and I decided that it was my Going Away Party because I’m a narcissistic asshole like that.
Slainte ~ SF