Last night I had a major anxiety attack around midnight. Deep breaths did not calm, sitting in a yoga position trying to find my center did nothing, my skin felt crawling, my heart raced, my mind was jumbled. I have not felt that intense of anxiety since Kevin’s first surgery when we did not know if we could come out alive. What was the cause?
As I blogged recently, I am a height of “closure” in my grieving life. Most paperwork has been changed properly to reflect his death, his headstone is now placed marking his permanence of death, an event was held in his memory to raise money for the cancer that took him, and this week I head to his hometown for the first time since his memorial. You could say I am slightly stressed.
Letting go of him, of the things that placed him on this earth, is entirely different than the emotional closure. I believe I will never fully be closed emotionally, nor would I want to be, of what we had on this earth, and of his loss. The mortal things, though, that held his memory here, that in a sense kept him alive on earth despite his death, are mostly gone. I rarely receive mail in his name, except for the last few medical statements that have gone unprocessed or dealt with. I have procrastinated to the point of no end in switching his car registration to my brother in law which I am currently playing phone tag with Penndot to do so (ugh!), his memory now lives on physically in a head stone, and a Team Sarcoma named after his battle with angiosarcoma. But he has left so much more in our hearts.
Seeing the physical parts being eliminated from this world is extremely difficult. It places him solely in my mind, my heart, my memory. Very rarely does his full name, or the presence of him being on this earth, pass across me. It is definitely disheartening. His 36 years on this earth and few physical reminders of his presence. Will it be that way for all of us?
While I am happy to be seeking closure in that regard, to make my life easier, to make my future more fruitful, it is difficult letting those things release. This trip to Winnipeg, starting tomorrow, will be extremely emotional, and will either stir some more heartache, or give me some release, but most definitely a bit of both.
When I come back, how will I be changed? Will I feel that release that I seek, will I let go a bit more to move forward? Will I be less angry at those who could not handle his death? Will I be able to cherish the memories without the physical reminders? I hope so.
Still highly anxious today, preparing for the trip not only with errands that need to be run, but with the mindset I need to get through this trip and actually enjoy myself.
As you know, my dad’s been gone for 18+ years now, and although I’m able to get through days without the stab of grief wearing me down, I do still think of him a lot. The other day I found myself missing him, wishing he was back in my life, and I got to thinking that I honestly have no idea what having him in my life right now would be like any more. Change piles on top of change on top of change until the past seems hardly recognizable. But maybe that’s why it’s the past and this is the present. We can live in the past if we want, but then we deny ourselves a present, and that is just as much a tragedy as having to let go in the first place. Good luck with your trip – I hope it brings you some peace. If not today, then soon.