I now have four items remaining to check off my list: thank you cards, going through my dad’s items in storage, selecting a marker for my dad’s grave, and writing a scathing letter to the management of my dad’s former residence. I will take great pleasure in that last item, and I know my dad would be so pleased with me to see me follow through. He often wrote letters to the newspapers with his opinions.
The management at his senior living community seemed only concerned with leasing my dad’s now vacant apartment. They had left me a message inquiring about the status and requesting the keys promptly due back at the end of the month. I was calm and cool until I realized that they had taken his name off his mailbox. I simply had asked what happened to his mail and what was the next step. The manager accused me of “disrespecting her,” firing back she had no idea what happened to his name on his mailbox. Didn’t she manage the place?
It was then that I expressed that she and her staff had zero compassion and not once had reached out to me or my family. As if I were in some dystopian novel, she explained to me that that it was against their policy to reach out to families who experience a death. Considering the population they serve, senior citizens, this policy is ridiculous, callous, and unacceptable. She then promptly asked if I would like to do a walk-through of his apartment. His empty apartment where he died. I was livid, stunned, but mostly numb. All I could say was, “No. Do I really need to be there?”
It will make me feel better to write this letter to the corporate office, especially if it prevents such horribleness from happening to someone else. Still, I feel I have this checklist to only delay the end of these death-related tasks as long as possible, because when they are all done, it will be over. What will be over? Then, I realize it will never be over. I know it’s my new reality that my life must go on, missing someone dear.
My dad is absent from my life, but I don’t like to think he is gone, only that he is somewhere else. It helps me to think he’s having a wonderful time and that he’s at peace. His version of heaven would probably be to spend it at the horse races where at the end of each race he would collect huge winnings; something he clung to in his life having no importance “up” there.
I talk to my dad, both out loud and to myself. I’d like to think he’s lingering and a couple of quirky things have happened; towels falling off their racks, his hat popping off the shelf, and a bottle of shaving cream turning up in my sister’s car. My mind is really open to anything at this point. I’ve taken up running only to hear myself breathe. When I ran before, I’d worry about distance and pace. Now, I just run; it doesn’t matter how far or how fast.
I’m also trying to meditate to shed all the rut thinking that comes with grief, namely the endless regret that manifests with losing someone. I’m told it’s all a part of grieving and it will get better, and that our grieving is as deep as our love. Grief is the price we pay for love.
Still I seek answers. I even ask Google questions like, “Why did you die? Where are you now? Does everyone have an appointed time to die?” Google is no help. I went to a metaphysical store that provides readings, hoping to meet the Certified Angel Therapy Practitioner. Yes, there is such a thing. She wasn’t there as her job is only a summer gig. I may return to meet a Spiritual Medium. Don’t judge.
I left the metaphysical store with a pink rock: a rhodochrosite, 4th chakra for divine love self-acceptance. It will have to suffice and gives me solace. I grip it in my fingers and feel its smoothness, and I pray.
Power or no power, I believe. Still moments when I am flooded with despair, awash in tears, feeling the depth of loss a little deeper still, I just want him back.
What’s the silliest question you ever Googled? Do you believe in the power of rocks and minerals? Have you ever used a Spiritual Medium?