Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spiritual Renewal, Pt. 1

Since the Super Bowl, I've been drying out a bit; partly in sympathy with my pregnant wife and partly 'cause I had really been getting after it for the last couple of months. Like DC, Fargo is a hard drinking city. Out there it's rare to go to someone's home and not be offered a beer at pretty much any time of the day or night, I was very much at home out there. The drinking culture of Fargo combined with an intense desire to avoid my feelings about BigDaddyRat's death led me to "self medicate" as they say. It's not like I was walking around hammered all the time, but rare was the day when I didn't have a drink or five.

I knew that the full force of my Father's death wouldn't really hit me until we got back to DC. Even though I'm mostly convinced it was to my benefit, I'm still debating whether or not it's a good or bad thing that I was in Fargo when Dad died. Fargo was my own personal la-la land, a working vacation where I didn't have to deal with real life and could largely avoid my family and situations that would make me think of my Dad.

As I finished squeezing whatever residual buzz was still in my liver over the last couple of weeks I started feeling worse and worse. I haven't been getting shit done at work, I haven't been taking care of other shit I need to get done, and I've generally been kind of zoned out and quiet. I manage to muster up some chit-chat with other parents when I'm out at the park with BabyRat, but whenever I'm not directly engaged with someone I easily get lost in my own thoughts.

I've buried four grandparents and a few other relatives and family friends that I was varying degrees of close with, so I thought that I knew how to handle death pretty well. Even so, I found myself unprepared for the emotional weight of the sudden (and very unexpected) death of my Father. Thankfully the last time we saw each other we had shared a couple of laughs and told each other "I love you", but we still had some serious unfinished business between us that will now never be resolved.

Ever the generous spirit, Dad had started us down the road towards setting things straight with an off-hand remark not too long before we left for Fargo. I had meant to go have lunch with him before we left town, but when we kept having schedule conflicts I didn't make it a priority. I just assumed that we had all the time we needed to finally put all our bullshit to bed. So if anyone reading this has something they need to get right with their parents or anyone else in their life, I'm begging you DO IT NOW!!! Do not wait, do not assume that you will have an opportunity to get to it later because that may not be the case.

So the point of me telling you all of this, was that I've been feeling down the last couple of weeks. Not some melodramatic, "My father died and I'm gonna spend the rest of my life regretting XYZ," nonsense; but more like I'm just really bummed the fuck out that he's gone. I won't ever get to whip his monkey ass out on the golf course again, he won't get to meet my second kid, and we'll never get to work together again and get it right this time. I don't have regrets, but I'm wistful about the future that we had been envisioning for ourselves that's never going to come now.

This post was about the trip down, next post will be about heading back up again.


virginia said...

i enjoyed the post below, and i think you will:

i would say talk to someone, but your blog might be enough of an seem to work it out on paper. one thought: in a middle-of-the-night emergency, would you be too buzzed to safely drive to the ER?

my dad died suddenly 27 years ago, and several siblings are still self-medicating. tell your mom you need some alone time in your dad's room ...might take a few visits.

Hill Rat said...


Thanks for the link, definitely a good read and thanks for the suggestion about Dad's room. At some time in the future I will be performing the unpleasant chore of cleaning out his closet, I suspect that will be a tough day.

Presentation Writing said...

certainly a decent read and much obliged for the recommendation about Dad's room. Sooner or later I will play out the repulsive errand of taking care of his personal business, I presume that will be an intense day.

Sports Dissertation said...

At some point or another i will assume out the ghastly errand from claiming dealing with as much personage business, i presume that will be a powerful day.