Loss and Finding Normalcy

Since 2018, I have been preparing myself for my dad passing away.

He got several diagnoses that pretty much started the clock. Preparing didn’t help much.

When his health took a turn for the worst late fall, I clung hard to whatever I could think of as normal as a defense mechanism. I am still pretty much doing that.

Although, I have been home a few days after the funeral and burial, which was over 4 days and required driving about 1300 miles. He was buried far away. I don’t like it, but it was his wish. He is with his parents and a sister he never got to meet. My grandfather bought a bunch of burial plots in 1920 when my aunt died a little over a month after she was born. Eight plots or so for $10. My dad never lived in that area or near it during his life. I think he wanted to be near his parents. He lost his mom when he was 21 and his dad when he was 32. How he dealt with that, I have no idea. My dad was strong and quiet, and we rarely saw him suffer.

Right now, normal means doing nothing but sitting in a dark and quiet house, trying to distract me. I will try to be a little more productive soon. My ex is trying to be helpful by watching my granddaughter, but it is just me and Ragnar and my thoughts and the darkness. That is probably not good. I should go to my parent’s house, but I thought I needed a break from everyone for a good while. Probably do, but it was painful to finally come home to a cold and dark house. It feels like it would have been even more painful and stressful to go to my parent’s home right now.

Many of my sisters are still there, and when they begin to go to their homes, I will return. I am hopeful we can find a good rotation that will not burn any of us out. My mom needs lots of help and would even if she had not broken her hip. Helping her and one of my brothers, who is developmentally disabled, is the priority.

I am trying to stay above water, but it seems that things are just not bad enough.

What is making it worse is that I am worried sick about Irina. I don’t know anything. Literally 10 minutes after I heard that dad’s time is short, and I needed to return after a short rest from being there for a month, Irina sent me a cry for help. Something was seriously wrong, and she wanted to jump off a building. I don’t know why. She sent me very little information before going quiet.

I have been checking online sources from her area to see if there is a mention of her. Happily, there is not. I have seen evidence that she has been online, so hopefully, she is well. I am so worried.

It has been suggested that she was looking for attention from me, which is silly. She has never lost my attention. Not even for a day or even a second. She isn’t playing games with this, and it is beyond worrying that she was so upset. I knew she had been down being cooped up in her home for a long time, and rarely going into the office was not healthy for her, but I had no inkling things were this bad for her.

I send messages telling her that she is loved and cared for. What else can I do? She lives so far away!

I sent her a Russian New Year’s card. Did I make things worse for her?

I wish she was in my house right now, but all I can do is worry and hope she sends me a message telling me she is okay. All I want is for her to be happy. She deserves that.

More worryingly, what about her son?

It seemed that I was good for her - am I wrong about that? - and she is my everything.

It just cannot be. Life is pointless without her.

I am so lost.

I should stay lost, but I cannot. At least not yet. I have too many responsibilities right now.

There is no way I can accept the loss of Irina. As I said, I have seen her on various online services, but that doesn’t mean anything. I stay logged into things for weeks, even if I am not using it. I really need to know. I tried contacting one of her friends that knows about me, but she never responded. I don’t know if her friend is active on it or not.

My dad dying doesn’t seem real yet. Will it ever? No one in the family seems to think it is real either. Adding that to Irina is too much.

Besides my dad dying being upsetting, it also makes me angry for various reasons. I might talk about those later. It is not clear that it is a productive avenue now or later.

I saw him in the hospital shortly after he died. I regret that I was not at the hospital when it happened, but I am also glad that I was not. He looked so awful. I constantly see his face. It was awful and didn’t seem real. My sisters think I had a severe panic attack. I am not sure what it was. A mix of that plus a seizure aura maybe? It was weird but not really that severe. I made people worry about me at a time like that. I am terrible.

When I lay in bed, that is what I see. No matter what I do, have TV or music in the background, that image is always there. Even grocery shopping.

When I sleep, it gets worse. I have nightmares about my dad at the hospital and family viewing, and also about Irina.

Sleep is awful, no matter what or how much I take to help. I haven’t slept well in many weeks and oddly can feel it drag me down. Not sure, but it seems that I am eating less than 1000 calories a day.

It is a sad statement, but I have never been close to someone who had died before. And now, there is one loss and possibly two. Two people who are very important to me.

I have a large list of things to do around the house and to improve my health. I guess I need to just start doing that. Will that be normalcy?

How can I have normalcy without both my father and Irina in it? Is it even important?

I have written a few times about how bad things happen and become a new normal and how it is amazing what can be normal. I am not sure if all of this ever can be.

I guess I can write and post recipes and work on my programs. It is a bit cold to be working outside, so I will try to focus inside my house. The day before my mom broke her hip, my daughter and grandkids had returned to their home. After leaving for my mom’s, I did come back home for a few days here and there to rest. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I returned home to visit my daughters and grandkids. I had to return each time, so that is a lot of visits with hardly any cleaning done.

Right now, it is difficult to do anything. Of course, I have no one to help me. I am giving myself three days of doing nothing but rest and think after returning from the burial. I hope that my mind will allow me to move through the house and clean and straighten everything before I need to return. Today is day three, so hopefully tomorrow…

This seems impossible to normalize.

I am not sure if three days will be enough. I stay up until 7 or 8 in the morning with awful images in my head and get a few hours sleep and then drag all day.

I desperately need a normal life. What is normal? What does that look like for me?

Seems like I am going through the motions. Is staying busy really better than doing nothing and wallowing in the darkness?

Darkness has always been my refuge, a place of peace, but it isn’t so peaceful anymore that I have lost my father and perhaps the love of my life.

This is very fitting for so many reasons. Irina loves this song. I was struggling to learn this on my guitar because I am not a great player. It was also difficult to learn because the song causes seizure auras for some unknown reason, sometimes severe ones.