All my life I have learnt to handle my negative emotions in what some people would say was an unhealthy way. But it's always worked for me and well it's gotten me this far just fine, hasn't it? Usually I lock them away and if I deal with them I do it when I feel ready to confront them and in small doses. Then I lock them back away for the next time I feel ready. I did that last year at around this same time really well. But this year it's proving to be a real struggle.
People say that dealing with the death of someone you love gets easier with time, that the pain goes away. Others say, and I think this is the truth, that it doesn't go away, you just learn to live with it. Because two years on and the pain is still there, and it's still hard to deal with. In about a week two years ago is when my dad was admitted to the hospital never to go back home. And as this time has been approaching the grip sorrow has had on my heart has been tightening by the day. In its cruel torture it has been flooding my mind with memories of him. Where usually my memories of him are such a bitter sweet experience, these past few weeks they have been plain torture. They have been resurrecting the feelings that I was exposed to when the end was in sight.
My family and I were one of the lucky ones that got to say good bye. That got the chance to make everything right with each other and apologise and forgive. I count myself lucky for that chance, unlike so many others that have someone uprooted from their lives without warning. But that period and experience brought with it such emotional confusion. He went way too fast for us but at the same time he went so agonisingly slowly. The end could and was going to come at any moment and that was so excruciating. Having your heartbeat sore every time your phone rang and your entire world froze as you wondered if that was the call telling you it was over. But then it wasn't. Wanting to throw your phone away so you wouldn't get the call, in a stupid attempt to keep him here longer but not wanting to miss the call. Going to his hospital room wondering if he'd still be alive when you got there, holding his limp hand wishing he'd miraculously get better but knowing that that's just stupid wishing and somewhere at the back of your mind you wish he'd just go so you can stop living in this place where everything seems to be on hold and you can't move forward or back, you're just stuck. And then you hate yourself for wishing that. What kind of person does that? You sit and watch him lay there so lifeless, watch his chest rise and fall. You talk to him - can he hear you? Most likely not, but what if he can? What should you say to him? On some days you tell him about your day. On others you talk about memories you've shared. On one day you tell him he doesn't need to keep holding on, that it's okay, he can let go, he can stop fighting, everything will be okay even though he's gone, that he'll forever be a part of you, forever he'll be missed, but he doesn't need to hold on, it's okay he can let go. Every day you tell him that you love him. Wanting to sit there with him for as long as he still breathes but needing to go on with your life that so cruelly refuses to beat to the same rhythm as your world. So you get up to leave, plant a kiss on his forehead and once again you say good bye in case tonight will be the night, but conflicted as you are inside you want him to hang on, at least one more day.
It was a period of grief that felt somehow frozen in time, waiting for the proper time to be thawed and justifiably felt. It was a period of so much waiting, of so much guilt caused by such conflicting thoughts that many times felt so wrong. It was a period that brought with it a few moments of redemption and saw us returned to the beautiful family we once were, the family of my childhood that had vanished so long ago. It was a period that rekindled a love that had died so long ago. So it brought some happiness and hope. It was pure emotional confusion. A period that I didn't know at the time was just the warm up to the turmoil that was about wreak havoc on my world.
Last year I was able to push a lot of those feelings away, but this year it seems that I will have to confront them. And I'm scared.