Avoiding Grief & Reviving Past Memories ...
It's been three years since the unexpected tragic loss of my father. After spending the entire day with him at the hospital and meeting with his doctors who were upbeat about his improved condition, we stayed with dad until 7:30 pm that evening and were unprepared for the phone call to come back to the hospital an hour after we got home. We rushed back to the hospital where they informed us he'd already coded once, his appearance had drastically changed he was almost unrecognizable to me bloated w edema, black & blue bruises all over. Skipping the rest of the gory details, I basically held my fathers hand watching his suffer horribly pleading for him to not leave us, watching his bp & HR rise and fall. He fought so hard to hold on, but in the end I had to tell him it was ok if he needed to go. The whole scene plays over & over in my head daily. The sepsis his doctors failed to inform us he had, the candida he got from the hospital, etc. There is a long list of crap that went wrong at that hospital that we knew nothing about. Doctors concealed the facts never giving our family the opportunity to make the decisions. He did not have to die and certainly not the way it happened.
After his death and through the years that followed my sisters life would consume all of us with her toxic divorce and custody battle. I had not only my own problems to deal with and trying to care for my mom I had her toxic divorce to deal with. If I did not take on my sisters problems, deal with her attorneys and her toxic mess she would have dumped her mess on my mom. I could not risk exposing my mothers health to her toxic drama. Dealing with all these things including my husband and four kids of my own in another state I didn't have the time to grieve.
Fast forward to the present time I've realized how putting off grieving has affected my life. For around the 12 months leading up to the third anniversary of his death I've spent a great deal of it reliving parts of my past. These were all happy times in my life when my father was alive. Those "happy" times coincidentally involve an ex boyfriend who was really close to my family growing up. He was what you might call my "first love". In my longing for my father, my love for him, the security he provided I transferred these feeling to be about my ex not my dad. I think again this was another way for me to avoid letting him (my father) go. My ex was symbolic of a bridge to me in my mind somehow I convinced myself being with him again would bring me closer to my dad, closer to feelings of happiness. My feelings & emotions were so intense and real to me I couldn't see beyond them. I convinced myself I no longer wanted to be married and contacted my ex. I feel terrible for the trouble it caused him with his Gf, but he has never married after all these years. He's told me he was not in love with his gf like that and wasn't happy in his relationship either. We connected as if time stood still and none had passed. But of course things ended up not so simple and leaving an unhappy relationship is just as hard as staying in a miserable one. My grieving process fluctuates between 2, 3, & 4. I find my emotions in a state of upheaval and tears well up in my eyes. My emotions can become intense and over exaggerated. I panic if someone says they'll call and don't. It causes me anxiety to worry. I have a mild case of PTSD which is the cause of many of these things. I want closure for my fathers death. To feel peaceful again, normal. Being emotional is tiring and so uncharacteristic of me.