I’m sad, guys. I don’t know why I’m sad now. I just know that I’m grieving my dad HARD right now. I know grief comes in waves. I think partly that this is because I’m in a period of real transition now that I’ve closed the paint and sip studio and things have stalled with the next adventure. Insecurity in my life isn’t helping. I think it’s also because it’s the time of year that I tend to get a depression flare. It happens just about every year around this time: my depression kicks it up a notch and my brain starts telling me I’m a giant loser and a miserable person who makes terrible, cowardly choices, and the future is very, very bleak. Again, insecurity in my life isn’t helping.
I’ve been having nightmares about my dad again. I say “nightmares,” but they’re not really scary – just really, really sad. I’ve woken up crying several times. And my dreams always share one feature: he always has dementia. He’ll be in different stages, but he’s never just him. In a dream a couple days ago, I was dancing to “Come Rain or Come Shine” with him, and for a split second, he was dancing and interacting with me like he was normal and healthy, and I thought, “This is a dream, but it’s a fantastic dream. I’ve got to keep this going.” I very rarely am aware that I’m dreaming, but I knew it this time and I was desperate for it to continue. And then, in an instant, he changed and I kept grabbing his arms and trying to force him and my dream to come back. I woke up so bloody angry that I couldn’t even remember him as my fully functioning father in a dream. Why can’t I think of him that way? Why is it always him in some stage of dementia?
Two nights ago, I had a flashback. I was feeling really tired and a little nauseated and lay down, and suddenly I was convinced that I was crumpled up, crying, in the hallway outside of the room where my dad was dying. I could hear the oxygen machine going and smell the nursing home stink. I could feel the carpet underneath me and the wallpaper at my back. PTSD, anyone? Ugh. I just want to forget those final three, pain-filled days.
So yeah, it’s been a hard couple weeks. And Wednesday is my 40th birthday. How can I celebrate it without including my dad? How can he not be here for it? He’s supposed to be here for it. I miss him so damn much all the damn time.
But there’s nothing I can do about it. And since I’m in a depressive cycle, I need to focus on the good things. I’ll share one with you. This is the pit I discovered when I cut open an avocado for lunch today:
How cool is that? It looks like a tree. Or Audrey II (there was that total eclipse of the sun a little while back…). Or brains. There is an excellent possibility that I chased the cats around the house with it chanting, “braaaaaaaains.” I may have also tried to chase S around the house with it and he may have taken it from me and thrown it out when I wouldn’t stop. It may also have attracted fruit flies and I may also being currently trying to get them drunk/kill them on cheap white wine and dish soap. Hey, it’s not the worst way to go.
Life goes on, come rain or come shine.