Right now is a weird time for me. I’m in a new location, Texas with the cows, really huge horned cows, without access to friends in town, trying, really trying to make some friends here but my people are harder to find now I’m older, and my father died. After two weeks in ICU, we decided to let him go. His death was easy. A whisper of breath, a silence of the machines, the falling into himself that was disastrously elusive in his life. I was grateful for the mercy.

Coming home has been not so graceful, not so grateful, to end up – not so quiet – as I hoped.

I have been loud. Effectively loud. BECAUSE. The doctor, hospital, and funeral home could not coordinate the death certificate. 

“Yes, he died,” I told everyone. 

“I was there when the machines stopped. A doctor stopped by and declared him dead. What, you can’t find the doctor? Did he die too?”

“What do you mean – it’s been two weeks. Dad’s dead. Where’s his body? Where’s the paperwork?” 

Yep. I started out professionally cool, then curt, throwing around some of my degrees and threatening with the barrister cousin, days later I became loud, yelling under my breath and finally, into the phone. By some mysterious power, and no one will tell me what kind of power, my father’s body made its way to the crematorium. I need to see my hairdresser for the extra grey hairs.

The yelling continued; upon my return to North, North Dallas, I found out that my classes had been canceled or I had been replaced. Yes, that lovely national organization, espousing religious values, gave my class, the one I trained for over two months without pay, to another teacher while I was away tending to my family. They didn’t tell me. I had to write an email and wait for their response. A pox on them. I mean frogs, boils, and locusts on their facility.

(Truthfully, I expected to stumble with the class initially; I had been upfront with my supervisor telling her of my inexperience but a willingness to train. Still, a pox on them.)

With all this distress, I have restarted watching horror movies. Finished with the big shark extravaganza, I watch vampire movies in the afternoons. I don’t know why it helps, but it does. Perhaps bloodsuckers, like the sharks, have some profound, blocked message about grief or suggest a clue about my internal state. I don’t know yet – stay tuned.

The panic attacks at night come and go. Nightmares, full of people I love attacked by a faceless murderer, rouse me out of sleep multiple times a night. This rite of passage, being without parents in a chaotic and alienating time, emphasizes how alone I am in this world and the importance of connections. Some days, I enjoy the revolting troll stalking me on Facebook and my blog. Easy enough to block her and report her to the authorities. Should I send her a thank you note for the opportunity to feel powerful? A pox on her, wait, someone already poxed her!

So, let’s all get connected. Maybe not gracefully or quietly but gratefully. Sending lots of love to my friends and supporters. Say hi below! And send job leads …

(Image courtesy of Thank you.)

10 thoughts on “Ungraceful, Loud, and Grateful

  1. My sweet Trudi, As always, in reading I felt your emotion and I feel your pain. I, too lost my dad (in April). I have experienced the anger due to the irresponsibility and excuses from the hospital staff as the nurse allowed my dad to aspirate right before her and our eyes…as she did NOTHING to tend to him! I truly feel your pain. I try to bring myself back to anything that I can possibly find to be positive in this experience. 1. My brother and I both were there when it happened, Daddy was not alone, 2. he never had to go to a facility, he lived independently until this happened 3.There was no long suffering. But I still come back to the same fact, he is gone…my Daddy. And the notion of being an orphan is absolutely chilling. I had heard friends speak of it but fortunately, I had no idea how it would really feel. I have just finished cleaning out his house and it will go on the market today, which means I will never be able to go back in on my own, with my own key…heartbreaking. I so dread the holidays, but am trying to put them in perspective because I do not want to start that trend. I understand your feelings and your loss. I miss you and am sending lots of love to you! XO

    1. Hello Jean,
      I am so sorry to hear about your father. Yes, being an orphan at this point in our life is devastating and bone-crushing sad. Please take good care of yourself. Now is not the time to skimp on the things that keep you grounded and happy. I miss you too and am sending lots of love,

  2. Trudi. First so sorry about your father. I really believe as adults when your parents die you really do feel like an orphan. Hope that passes sooner than later.
    I miss seeing you at weekly yoga practice. I bet you could come back here and get a class again. 🙃
    I do love hearing from you – pox in the night terrors.

  3. Is coming back to Raleigh an option? You have community here… it will be hard where you are to belong…

    1. Hi CJ,
      Yes Dallas is difficult. I found a group of writers and that’s a start. I miss the community in Raleigh but there were many reasons to leave. Big hug to you,

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