I was exhausted after the funeral. We all were. But family and friends were bringing dinner to the homeplace for all of us. And far away friends were in town. I wanted to go home, sit alone in the dark, and cry. But I couldn’t. There were more people to visit with. Talk with. And the house needed to be cleaned after everyone left.

And Mom. We had to make sure Mom was alright. We had to take care of her now.

The months prior to Dad’s death were some of the most exhausting days of my life. My husband and I were going through what seemed to be a never ending rough season in our marriage. I’d just started a new job, while consulting at my previous one. Finding time for much needed one on one discussions was nearly impossible with our jobs, three kids, my sick parents, and other normal life happenings. So we didn’t.

Most of my days consisted of work, a long ride to the hospital after work to be with Dad, a longer ride home after the hospital, sometimes a quick stop to check on Mom, a call to one of my sisters to check what they knew from the doctors, and then it all gets blurry. At home in the evenings, I’m sure I did laundry, cooked sometimes, helped with homework, and all the other things I’m supposed to do. I don’t remember. I was barely getting through the days. I’d fall into bed but only sleep sporadically then do it all over again the next day.

I remember trying really hard to stay strong during that time. Zoloft helped me put on the good face some days. I was coping the best I could but on the verge of tears constantly. My heart was breaking over and over every day.

Because of the growing distance between me and my husband. Because my kids needed me a lot and I couldn’t be there. Because my parents, who were strong and capable and always there, needed me to be strong and capable and always there. Because all Dad wanted was to get well so he could keep caring for Mom but he was getting weaker and weaker. Because the new job I thought I always wanted wasn’t what I wanted.

Nothing was like it should be.

Then Dad was gone. And then you do the things you’re supposed to after someone dies. The phone calls and funeral arrangements. The telling of what happened over and over again because he was fine a few months ago. And then we had to figure out what to do next. Because Mom shouldn’t be by herself.

And Mom had good days and bad ones but the bad ones were coming more often. When she couldn’t breathe she wanted us there. All of us. By her side. Just there.

Everything hurt my heart.

I felt raw.

It hurt to be around people and the better I knew them….the more difficult it was.

I wanted to take pain pills. But I didn’t have any.

I wanted to get drunk every night. But I’m too responsible for that. I stuck to one glass of wine a few days a week. Sometimes two glasses. Sometimes more than a few days a week.

And I kept trying to be strong but there was nothing left.

Dad was gone. But I was too.


Photo by Med Badr Chemmaoui on Unsplash

No Comments

  1. baliinfoblog on March 30, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    absolutely beautiful, this brought tears to my eyes. You describe so well how we try and be there for everyone else and lose ourselves in the process. I feel your pain.

    • mariegriffith on March 30, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you. I’m glad you understood. I started writing this nearly a year ago but could finish only after more time had passed. I didn’t realize how depressed I had been until I started coming out of it. Again thank you for your kind words.

  2. championsforwellness on March 30, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    This week marks 8 years since we lost my dad, your post resonates deeply with me <3 beautifully written.

  3. kimbawhite on March 31, 2016 at 1:01 am

    That was beautiful. I totally relate to losing a parent. I relate to everything feeling like it’s not going right and trying to be strong for your family. I hope you’re feeling better now.

    • mariegriffith on March 31, 2016 at 5:58 am

      Thank you. I am better. Much better. I didn’t realize how dark it was until I started coming back into the light.

  4. Joy Waters Martin on March 31, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Love you Marie! Feeling your pain with you …

    • mariegriffith on March 31, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Thank you Joy. I am in a new good place but felt compelled to share this.

      • Joy Waters Martin on March 31, 2016 at 10:21 am

        It’s important to share these vulnerable, raw places. Thanks for that. It helps so many others feel okay to open up.

  5. starlasuch on March 31, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Beautiful! Thankful that you are being so real!

    • mariegriffith on March 31, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Thank you Starla. I almost didn’t hit the publish button but felt it was needed. It is really raw and I feel exposed but it’s part of my story. I plan to write more about it as I find the words and the courage.

  6. rainbowkinect2012 on March 31, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    You’re such an excellent writer; thanks for sharing.

  7. syllabubsea on April 1, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Beautifully written. You captured the emotions of the situation well. I went through the same thing with my Mum and now I’m going through the it again with my dad.

    • mariegriffith on April 1, 2016 at 5:34 am

      I’m so sorry. It’s a tough thing to go through. I hope you have others around to help you.

      • syllabubsea on April 1, 2016 at 1:18 pm

        Thanks for your understanding words. Fortunately I do have support.

  8. A Nenes Life on April 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Oh my gosh, I’m sorry for your loss. We never really get over it, we do learn how to live with the grief each. and. every. day. There will always be a piece of us that continually grieves. That you so much for being brave enough to share.

    • mariegriffith on April 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you. Your comment means more than you know. This post was very vulnerable. I’m so much better now. God is always faithful….He never left me and I have an awesome group of people I get to do life with.

  9. Lonna Hill on April 3, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Beautifully written. Thanks for being willing to be vulnerable and share your story. It helps others who are going through the same thing to know they are not alone. Your writing captures the grit and pain of it all.

    I so agree with your statement in one of the comments above, “I didn’t realize how dark it was until I started coming back into the light.” I haven’t lost a parent, but have struggled with other painful circumstances in my past and have found this so true.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • mariegriffith on April 3, 2016 at 6:40 am

      Thank you Lonna. Yes I want others to know they’re not alone and that’s ok to not be ok. We’re strong sometimes but sometimes we’re not.

  10. Melissa Ann on April 3, 2016 at 3:49 am

    This is stunning, and so well written that I can actually feel your emotions at that time. The reader feels like they are you, that they are the ones going through these painful moments. Anyone who has experienced deep grief, and the exhaustion that comes with it, will be able to relate.

    The last sentence struck a deep chord in me. Just replace the word dad, with the pronoun ‘he’, and it fits me perfectly. When the love of my life died, something in me died too. It’s been 14 years now, and that something has never completely healed.

    This was beautiful, personal, and moving. Thank you so much for sharing it <3

    • mariegriffith on April 3, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Melissa thank you for your kind words. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right about the exhaustion of grieving. I think I was grieving even before Dad left us. Grieving the changes that his sudden sickness caused. None of it was easy. But here I am. There you are. And we’re ok. Thank God we’re ok. And we can help comfort others who are going through similar trials.

  11. Tom Schultz on April 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

    A poignant story, well told. Sometimes the simplest language is best to convey the deepest feelings. I hope time provides healing for you.

    • mariegriffith on April 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Thank you for your kind words, Tom. Yes healing is happening. I am much better. So much better.

  12. Philosophical Epiphanies on April 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I started blogging this month, and it is a pleasure that I came across your blog.
    It has inspired me to start my next article.
    Thank you:)

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    […] the last time I’d felt anything full-strength. Maybe a part of my heart shut down. Maybe the Zoloft was doing what it was supposed to […]

  14. jelmo88 on August 17, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I don’t come here often and you make me wish that I had now. If any more of your writing is this emotionally charged, I’m certainly a fan. Thank you for this piece.

    • mariegriffith on August 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Thank you kindly. I appreciate those words of encouragement. I want readers to feel deeply and relate as well.

      • jelmo88 on August 17, 2016 at 11:04 am

        Life has an odd way of making you feel things unexpectedly. Thank you for choosing to share. I believe it helps us as readers relate but also know innately that we aren’t alone in feeling these emotions. Reading it expressed so well provides a solace that, to me, is just incomparable.

        • mariegriffith on August 17, 2016 at 11:08 am

          Good point. I want my readers to feel less alone also.

  15. mythicalmusingsblog on September 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Beautifully heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss, I know that after my grandmother passed away a few months ago I lost connected with everyone. With only my room and blogging to confide in. At the time I had almost no followers so I blogged through my grief and then took it all down because most of the words had been utter gibberish. But this, this was so beautifully put. I cried and I am not ashamed to admit it because it was the same for me. Thank you for sharing this, because sometimes I forget that it was okay to grieve, even if I did it in a different way to the rest of my family.
    Thank you x

    • mariegriffith on September 16, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Thank you for sharing that with me. Yes it is okay to grieve in our own way and it is healing as well. Many blessings to you as you continue writing and sharing your heart.

  16. thebravebubble on September 20, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Reblogged this on Site Title.

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  18. dawnlizjones on January 1, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    This is an amazing post. Thanks for allowing us to see into the life of someone we admire, being vulnerable to the point of pain, and helping us to realize we are not alone and there is hope that this, too, shall pass.

    • mariegriffith on January 1, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Dawn, your words mean a lot. I value your thoughts so much.

  19. soulanceblog on January 3, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Wow, I can truly feel the emotion written here. I hope today this is just a memory and you are in a brighter head space 🙂

    • mariegriffith on January 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

      I am definitely in a good place – hopeful of great things to come. Thank you. Writing it out helped me with the grieving and healing process.

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