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Today, over four months since my father died, grief raised its ugly hand and slapped me hard in the face…just to let me know that it is not done with me yet and affirming that it is still in control and will visit whenever it darn well wants too.

Today on the way to the Burbank Airport, to drop my Sister off so she could fly away to work, I got an unexpected call from Oregon. I saw the area code on my cell phone and briefly thought it might be my younger sister, which was surprising, since she very rarely, if ever, calls me. It was not my sister. I answered the phone to hear the voice of Carla, the Hospice Nurse, who had tenderly assisted my father in the days preceding his death and came to sit with us after Dad died. She was following up with us and asked how my Mother was doing and I reported my Mom’s move to Ventura and told her that Mom was excited about the move. She then asked in a caring tone how I was and I assured her that I was fine. I lied. After a few more pleasantries, we hung up….and then I lost it.

Grief has been my constant companion since May 17th. I would like to turn my back on grief and walk far away from it. But No…Not one day has passed that I have not felt it’s presence. Some days the happy memories I have of Dad play across my mind like a calming, peaceful breeze, alleviating the grief somewhat. Then there are the days when I wake in the morning and feel like I can’t surface through the pain that claws at my heart. Most often, the grief is like a stone that I carry…aware of the weight, but still able to push it into the background so that I can function and move onward. Then there are days like today…when out of the blue, the grief strikes cruelly hard, making me totter and fall flat on my face. Every crack in my heart has been re-opened and every fiber of my being is keenly aware that my Dad is gone and I am plagued with this horrible condition of the head and heart labelled grief. Today, the pain is intense, yet my screams are silent; after all, I must maintain control…but my throat and head are on fire, and the lump in my throat is threatening my airway.

I could call a friend…or burden my spouse with these feelings; instead, I blog. I give voice to this grief and hope that some of it will seep out through my fingers and go away. Wishful thinking. I seek not sympathy or condolences…I just want these heavy thoughts out of my head and out of my heart…so I type with hard strokes on the keyboard trying to exorcise them from my soul.

Whew…Breathe….Just Breathe.

In sticking to my resolve to be shiny and bright….here it is.

I would like to say that Hospice Nurses are amazing. They truly are. They are a special caliber of people with hearts of gold. The care and empathy they extended to my father and family were beyond my expectations and I am eternally grateful for their assistance. The ladies from Pacific Home Health And Hospice, from Coo’s Bay, Oregon are the best. So while their unexpected call played havoc on my emotions today…I am now revisiting the memory of their care and tenderness for my father and I feel gratitude. I also know that the good memories and the love I have for my amazing Dad will eventually conquer the pain.