I am 52 and my dad passed away on 15th December 2013 - it was a sudden death from alcoholic and heart symptoms he was 76. Over the years he lead a chaotic life but drinking was the main priority in his life and trying to spend time with my mom - they divorced ten years earlier but still maintained the dysfunctional relationship they had done since I can remember.
I tried for several years to balance out his alcoholism, helped him through his divorce from my mom ( a situation no child whatever age should be put through in my opinion - got him a home, sorted out his day to day existence and medical appointments for hip and knee replacements.
I didn't have a close relationship with my dad but felt I could offer him some kind of stability and for 4 years out of the seven I managed to get him sober (something that my mother or sister or anyone else in the family never seemed to be able to do).
My dads addiction ruined our family set up and the selfishness that goes with alcoholism - so I felt angry, hurt and let down all my life that my father put all his energy into this anti social anti family activity - as it broke the relationship with my mother and sister up into pieces - so none of us can relate or speak rationally to each other even after the death of my father.
The last two years I decided to put all my focus into my family as my fathers addiction to drink and continuing the dysfunctional scenarios with my mother seemed to be too strong and so I moved away to concentrate on my husband son and daughter.
Not only did my sister become abusive to me over the years from learned behavioral patterns but also having a rational relationship with my mom seemed too difficult - it had not just been like this its always been difficult between us all.
So when I got the call out the blue from my sister screaming down the phone that my father had passed away - my feelings were very strange - clinical almost mechanical and extremely detached.
I started to call other family members to let them know, my dads brothers, my cousins and other close members of the family.
The next day I drove three hours to pick up my sister to go through the funeral details and within an hour my sisters attitude became hostile again telling me to drop my guard and cry or be upset - the attitude in the funeral directors was dreadful and the administrator kept on taking in coming calls at least 8 or 9 from other clients - then relaying the clients information to us while we sat there trying to arrange out fathers funeral.
Due to my ability to organize in a clinical manner I must have come over as cold and meticulous but no one else was there to take the lead - my mother although having found my father and her continued relationship with him just passed all the responsibility to me - the funeral, his home and his estate on to me to sort out again.
So I tried to maintain this picture of organization amidst the arguments started by my sister the name calling and the hurtful texts she sent me - the Christmas preparations the new years events and then the funeral traveling up and down the country to try and orchestrate a reasonable funeral as required. To clear his home and possessions to move on through it without admitting my exhaustion, guilt, upset and pain.
I had nt seen my dad for over two years so I had in effect let him go - I don't know how I feel really - a bit used i think anger at his selfishness - hurt that he only cared for alcohol and my mom - yet she didn't really care for my dad as she left for a planned holiday 3 days after the funeral for several weeks so she isn't around to be of support ??
I dont know how I feel except when I drove back to where i am living 4 weeks ago i developed a locked neck and pain even moving my head and neck, loss of enthusiasm loss of energy - wet eyes as if I am about to cry but can't, exasperation with my family expecting me to carry on as normal and function normally when I don't feel I can the expectations I have of friends who don't call or ask me to do anything is very very strange - but I am expected to continue as if it was just something naturally expected of me...... I feel lost in something that could be the grieving process but one I don't feel I deserve to be in or feel.
There are good memories of my father and his part in our family which I outlined positively in the editorial at the funeral but deep inside there is a physical energy that is hurting and frustration that I cannot release in all these lonely hours I am spending xxxxxxx