I visited my parents’ house yesterday. I’ve been grief-stricken again lately about my dad. It’s about two years since it all began. I think there are not only conscious triggers but subconscious ones–a smell, particular weather, my car–that bring it all back. And that make me fear the future…fear for myself, and for my loved ones.

I oscillate between wanting to wrap myself in all my memories like a blanket and never leave, and wanting to get as far away as I can. Home was always my “safe” place–I would go there and be loved, and escape from whatever latest heartbreak, failure, or nastiness had happened. Now home is where my dad died. I don’t know how to feel any more. Maybe it will be good to move someday.

I don’t talk about my dad much, except on here. My husband is not really a sensitive person and I don’t know what I’d say. I’ve been churning with all this angst and grief and yearning and longing, and I just keep it inside me. I said for the first time yesterday that I was feeling a bit depressed and missed my dad. It was kind of a test balloon to see if it was safe to talk. But my husband sort of said “oh okay” and changed the subject. And so I was quiet again.

He didn’t really know my dad too well; we weren’t married very long when all this happened. My dad was a quiet person, too. That’s been hard…not having people to talk to, and just turning things over and over in my mind. I often wish I had a sister. Then I feel upset with myself for wishing because it’s not productive to wish things like that, and I understand how hard it must have been for my parents to raise me with no help and why I don’t have siblings. I don’t want my mom to feel guilty.

My daughter looks just like little me. Seeing her makes me miss my father so much. Not only do I think about what he would be doing with her and how much he would have enjoyed it, but I miss being little myself. I hate how life is a one-way street and I will never experience that time again–never experience being with my father again. I read some article the other day about parenting without parents, and it talked about how women are having kids later and later, and how one factor that nobody thinks about is how much their kids will miss out on by not having grandparents. I did think about this, especially as I never had grandparents. Two were dead and two were on the other side of the world in a time when there was no way of communicating. But despite my best efforts I married late, and my own parents had me late, and the combination means that my dad isn’t here. The article went on to say that those of us who have experienced loss parent differently. That we now know the horrible things that can happen in life and we feel afraid at every turn. That is very true in my case. Come to think of it, I guess it was also true for both of my parents, who experienced untimely losses early. They knew what I didn’t–how fragile life is.

Everything that was born has to die, and everyone has to experience it, and experience loss. It shouldn’t feel so bad; so unfair. But it does. I’m a different person than I was–I feel so bitter about what happened and that my dad is gone–and I feel guilty about feeling bitter too. Many people die much younger than my father did, and in much more prolonged and horrible ways.

In some ways the longer I live and the more I see, the more willing I feel to let go when my time comes. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be very old, with all of your peers already gone, your parents and peers gone, and your own health failing. Dad always said he didn’t want to live too much longer than eighty. I get it now. Wish I could tell him that.


Two years since my dad fell ill

It is two years since my dad fell ill. I think this day for me is more significant than the day he actually died, because by the time he died there was nothing much of him left to die.

I feel better. I still think of my dad constantly. I think of him so much that it seems odd that he is gone; it seems like he ought to be here. Maybe I’ve gone into some kind of denial.

But I’ve felt a shift in my grief lately. I can write again. I can write about him again. I have dreams about him and they are peaceful dreams. The night before I got new glasses, I dreamed that he and I were walking where I was a child, near the opticians–near the old sushi place and the bumpy tree.

I see his face in my son’s face sometimes, when I look for it. And when I love my son, part of that love is the love I had for my father.

I don’t read the brain tumor forums any more, and I’ve been leaving all the Facebook groups devoted to grief and brain cancer too. Somehow instead of helping (like the colon cancer forums did), the brain cancer forums hurt and irritated me. I guess it is because they were never particularly helpful. First of all they are called “brain cancer” forums, but all anybody talks about is GBM GBM GBM, as though no other cancers matter. Secondly there are just about no patients on those forums…only frantic caregivers and a large amount of poor medical advice given by nonmedical people attempting to feel important. And my dad seems to have been in the bottom percentiles as far as how people did with his cancer, so (although I am happy for them) it is really just depressing to log on and hear that everyone else with his cancer is for the most part well, whereas my dad has been gone so long that I think of fathers as something that other people have.

I probably have PTSD to some extent. I fear for my own health and the health of all of my loved ones. I hope that someday I can learn to live life normally again, without anxiety that disease and a horrible death lurks around the corner.

I was idly reading somewhere about whether a soul exists, and if so where it is when someone is dying and unconscious, or where is a baby’s soul when its mom is pregnant. And someone said that during those times the soul comes and goes. It was a nice thought.

On another note regarding my own health, it is seven months since I delivered my son, and my blood glucose issues remain. I tested my A1c at home and last month it was 5.0 (normal) and then exactly a month later it was 5.9 (strongly prediabetic). I have no idea what to believe, or what to do. I am supposed to see my doctor again in two months. I feel weird because with the gestational diabetes I was seeing the doctor twice a week.

I am still nursing, but my son has started solids and nurses much less than he was a month ago. I did manage to almost exclusively breastfeed for six months.

I have lost 28 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, putting my BMI at 25–the high end of normal. I feel good. Unfortunately my blood glucose does not seem to have improved and in fact if anything, has become worse. That scares me.

I read /r/loseit sometimes and the people there talk a lot about how after losing weight they noticed a huge difference in how people treated them. I haven’t really noticed that at all. A lot of people do remark “oh you lost a lot of weight,” but if anything I find it sort of embarrassing because I guess they must know how overweight I was before. I just say “yes…I was pregnant, and now I’m not, so I put the baby down!”

But then some people go on and say “no, but you have lost weight even compared to pre-baby.” Which is true. But I don’t really want to explain that I had gestational diabetes and that now I seem to have pre-diabetes.

Anyway, all my old clothes are now loose and I am not embarrassed when I see photos of myself–from any angle. Those are nice “non-scale victories” (a word used in online weight loss communities, apparently.) I never realized how ashamed I felt of being fat, until now that I am not fat any more and have a data point to compare to.