Monday, June 30, 2014

Loss, Grief, and Realization.

My dad, my mother, Me (to the left) and my sister (right).
R.I.P Daniel Paul Berg
You were a loving father
It has been about 3 months now since my dad passed. I do realize he is gone but a part of me still thinks hes going to show up in his van to bring me a jar of peanut butter. That's how he showed love a lot of the time... through food. It's no wonder that I do the same thing. My dad and I are a lot alike. I related to him the most and he was always the most rational. We both put others feelings and health before our own. My dad and I had a relationship. It wasn't very deep vocally but I could always feel his love with how he showed it. He showed it by taking me to the park or trying to share with me a new hobby he had, or driving me over some food. We had a hard time telling each other our deep feelings so we mostly talked about recipes, my nieces, or my work. I wish I would have told him that I loved him three days before he died when he took me and my nieces to the park. We just had a wall up when it came to that. My wall had to do with flash backs of abuse and neglect from my childhood. I knew that when I was little that I did not want to become the dysfunction. My way of dealing with it was being passive to the point of being afraid of confrontation. It got to the point where I didn't care about myself very much at all and was afraid to have an opinion. I have come a long way since I moved out at 19. I forgive my family and myself it's just I have been suppressing a lot for a long time so whenever I would try to say things like "I love you" or give a hug...I couldn't. That wall was something I was working on just before he died.

My dad April 13th. Pushing my niece on the swing.
My dad died April 16th, 2014 at about 2:30 pm. He was having a heart attack and decided try to drive himself to the hospital. He only made it a couple blocks and then hit a telephone pole. I didn't get home from work until about 5:30 pm. I didn't get any calls at work. When I came home my husband told me that my mother was leaving voice mails and it was hard to make out what she was saying...something about Dan and his heart. I immediately called my mother. I said "What's happened!?" She said with a very shaken voice "Dan's dead. How are you going to support me?". All I could say was "What?! No! What?". I kept repeating "What happened? Please tell me what happened?" She said "Please don't blame me I don't want to feel any guilt." I told her that I would not blame her. Finally she told me that he was having a heart attack, drove and hit a tree and police were there. She said that he went to Ballard Swedish and a doctor just called her telling her that he died there. She was freaking out so bad that I had to find out for myself because she wasn't even sure where his body was and I wanted to be sure. I immediately called Ballard Swedish and they said that he was not there. I then had to call the local police precinct and they gave me the case number for the incident. They told me he was sent to Northwest hospital. I called Northwest and they confirmed it. I was in shock. My husband and I just cried together. Todd held me and said "Hes gone. I'm sorry hes gone".

I didn't know what to do. Financially my family could not afford even cremation. Todd had an idea that I call his brother in law because he used to work for a funeral home. I called and his brother in law told me that I needed to talk to my priest and see how she can help. Then I needed to get a small chain funeral home that would not mark up the prices. The next morning I talked to my priest not knowing what she could even do. She told me that the church could pay for his cremation because they had memorial fund for such crises. I was blown away. I have only been at this church a few months, was not even a member yet, and they have never met my father. I'm still very appreciative and grateful of everyone and everything that helped during this hard time. After the viewing and cremation I tried to set up a memorial service with my church. At first my priest told me that we would probably have to have a basic service (no flower, no organ music, no reception). I couldn't feel right with that. I wanted the memorial to have all of those things. I wanted something that fully celebrated my dads life. I set up a fundraiser at I was able to raise all that I needed in 1 week! Some family from out of town came, my aunt, a few of my friends from school, kids I grew up with, and some members of my church. Some family that I really wanted to show up did not go.

I don't want to get into all of the drama of my family on this blog but lets just say that right now not only am I grieving the loss of my dad but also the fact that my family will never be who I want them to be. My dads death has really made me re-examine my life. I'm learning to be more honest with myself and i'm trying to let go of fear and shame. I'm trying to stop feeling as if I have to "fix" or be the "fixer". I can't control someone else's reaction only my own. I'm trying to set boundaries and keep setting goals for myself so I don't go into my old  pattern of self sabotage. I'm learning what healthy detachment is probably for the first time. I no longer want fear to limit my options in life.

Here is some of my current goal list and things I want to work on. Some long term and some short.

  • Behavioral health therapy
  • Writing my thoughts in a journal
  • Becoming a blogger once again
  • Couch to 5k program
  • Run another 5k
  • Run a 10k 
  • Be more active in my church (volunteering)
  • Health (Doctor checkup/Dental)
  • Saving $$ and budgeting
  • Appreciation/ Gratitude
  • Education
  • Support for my eating disorder, children of hoarders (online or in person group)

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