The Solace of a Pink Rock

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.

The favorite part of my run. Who cares where I am.
The favorite part of my run.

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.

Shes a beauty.

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?

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46 thoughts on “The Solace of a Pink Rock

  1. I can really sympathise what you’re going through following the death of my Mama 2 years ago. They say that it gets easier and in a few ways it does but in most I can’t say that it has. Maybe it depends on how expected it was, the age of the parent and child etc, I don’t know.

    I love that you are experiencing these little events around the house. This has been happening to me for 2 years, even my wife assumes it is my Mama showing she is still around. Just yesterday I had a very weird but sad dream about her and then a voice came into my head that said that no matter how sad I was now, when I woke up something special would happen.

    To cut a long story short my Easter cross magnet that has been on the fridge door all week and indeed ever since even with the outside door open all day with the wind etc… anyway the magnet was laying on the floor 6 feet or more from the fridge with the words “He is arisen”. People might think I’m crazy but I am taking a special message from that. These things just happen too often these days.

    I haven’t contact a Spiritual Medium though I’d be very open to doing so. However a blogging/FB friend is very talented in that area and she spent 30 minutes telling me all sorts and passing on my questions which returned immediately with answers. It was quite amazing.

    Do email me if you need anything Amy.

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    1. I can’t believe it’s been two years since your mother passed, Stephen. I remember when I first read about her in a post. It seems like yesterday. I know you know what I’m going through. My dad had a serious heart condition. That said, his death was sudden. In my mind, I had always envisioned I would say goodbye in a hospital or something. So, even though I knew it could happen any day, I was shocked, am shocked. I guess in a way I never expected him to die at all.

      What a wonderful dream you had, even though sad. It all ended well! I believe in these strange happenings, too, and I think dreams are a way that spirits communicate to us. Often, I don’t remember my dreams, although the other night, I did dream and my dad was in it. Sadly, I woke up kind of confused.

      I’m open, as a I said. I think people have gifts, so it’s possible to learn about these journeys after death. We’ll see. Thank you, Stephen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grief raises all sorts of questions, and sometimes we look for answers in places we wouldn’t have thought to before. Do whatever you need to do to help process your father’s passing. The behavior of the manager of the senior living community is shocking. One would think they, of all people, would be sensitive to the needs of the residents and their families. Sorry you had to deal with such a negative response given all you already have on your plate.

    My thoughts continue to be with you, Amy. Here’s hoping your dad is picking all the winning horses.

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    1. I know it will be a process and I’ll just follow the path I’m on. Thanks for that feedback about the senior living community. I wasn’t sure if I was overreacting or not. They’re horrible. I think they should all be fired. Maybe training could help them. There’s a lot of turnover in the jobs there. Not surprising.

      Thanks so much, Carrie. I hope so, too. Whatever makes him happy. I know he’s smiling and laughing. One of his neighbors heard whistling and she thought it was him, because he whistled all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My father-in-law loved bald eagles. Was always on the lookout for them. The day of his funeral, my sister-in-law saw a bald eagle, certainly not a common occurrence . Even a pragmatist likes me gets warmed by the thought. 🙂

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  3. I am so sorry that you have to deal with those insensitive creeps – an extra wound when you are one big raw wound. Unfair. Whatever brings you comfort accept it. Don’t judge yourself or make apologies. When my sister passed away 7 tears ago I felt that she; was haunting my car (in a positive way), visited me in dreams, communicated through objects and I also saw a reader and had her speak to me about my sister’s journey. It was all helpful to me and that is all that matters. You are tackling so much so soon in regards to your dad – I am barely past the all-day pajama phase and finally managed to write something random and not emotional – just because. My thoughts are with you random internet person – there are no strangers, distance is an illusion, your dad IS with you at all times – especially now while you are struggling.

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    1. Thanks. Good, I’m glad I’m imagining how insensitive they are. I can’t believe them. That’s funny your sister was haunting your car. I wonder did you spend a lot of time there in your car together? They say dreams are the way to hear and talk to your loved ones. I haven’t had much luck with that one. I’m glad a reader could help you. You just never know what they may say. Usually, they are there to guide and help in some way. We’ll see. I’ll try to make it back over there. I feel like I’ve been in a kind of autopilot planning so many things. Sometimes, I feel it isn’t real, so don’t be fooled by me. Thanks for thinking of me. Thinking of you, too. Be strong.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s disgusting, isn’t it? I’m angry but also tired, so maybe I can use your anger. I’ll let you know. I haven’t even started to write it, but I want to do it. It needs to be done! Thanks, Mark.

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  4. Hello dear friend – I’m so glad to see you’re writing and so glad to hear you’re running as well – both healthy, constructive things instead of self-destructive choices as you work through this. As I’m sure you are aware, there are stages to grief, and everyone works through them at different paces and in different ways. There is no single “right” way to do it – it’s yours to experience in your own chosen way. I’m also glad to hear you are aware of not letting yourself get stuck or in a rut when it comes to grieving. It’s still very recent, but it seems like slowly, you are moving forward by seeking answers and allowing your mind to expand in the process by learning new things – also a very healthy response. Remember – one day at a time, and that I’m here whenever you need me. Sending love and hugs to you 🙂

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    1. Thanks for all your help, Kelly. I’ve done some reading on grief lately. My sister and I have been sending articles back and forth. Still, some days are better than others. I’ve never felt anything as final as this. That’s the hardest part. But, I’m trying to think about making more mindful choices about how I can make my life better, improve my relationships with others and cherish each day. I don’t know if I’ll have any answers, but I will probably still try to find them. Thanks for being here. Love and hugs. 🙂

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  5. That’s so awful how they treated you! I’m so sorry. Like you need that on top of everything else.

    My dad has given me so many signs over the years. Usually it’s when I ask him out loud for one. I don’t care who thinks that’s crazy because he was my dad and I believe….no — I KNOW he’s around sometimes.

    The week after he died, my brother and I were driving in his old Chevy and the locks started going off by themselves. This was back in 1991 so they weren’t automatic locks. They would lock and unlock whenever we talked about him and then stop when we stopped to listen. Don’t ask me how my dad pulled that one off but that was the first of many, many signs. I believe in life after death and always have.

    I also do believe in mediums, but it depends on who you see. I’ve seen several over the years and one told me about the car locks going off and that yes — that was him. Yep. Getting goose bumps just typing that out.

    If you ever need to talk let me know. Even though my dad died over 23 years ago, I still can remember the grief and pain I went through when he suddenly died. He was my world back then. Grief is like ripples on the water, at first the waves are fast and seems like it will never fade, but eventually the ripples will come less and less. They’ll always be there but just not as raw or painful. Thinking of you.

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    1. It’s been such a release to talk about this whole thing at the senior community. It’s awful. Those bitches! I’m so disgusted with them. How could they? If you could have been there. They need to be found out.

      That’s so cool your dad has given your signs like he has. Maybe I should try asking out loud for one and see if that works. I had the towel thing and I could swear it looked like the towel was moving, as if someone were using it! Also, my husband tripped on nothing and got a swollen ankle. I mean he fell flat on his face! I think my dad was getting back at him for something. Oh, the power of being a spirit!

      I will go see someone. I kind of chickened out today. When I’m ready I’ll go. She’s only there on Tuesdays unless by appointment. I’ll let you know. I believe some people have gifts and can use them for good.

      Darla, thank you. Thanks for thinking of me. It’s difficult to believe this is the way it will be now. It will take getting used to and, of course, things will never be the same.

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  6. A pox on the insensitive people in your life. Write that letter. Then review them on Yelp or something. Ugh. A-holes.
    And as for your Dad, I believe my Dad is on a beach in Cape Cod, smoking Marlboros and drinking stiff martinis. He’s been joined over the years by my brother, who’s eating bing cherry ice cream and watching Tom and Jerry. Why shouldn’t we all end up exactly where we were absolutely most happy?
    And every good parking space we get my kids still echo, “Thank you for the spot, Pop-pop Groeber!” Because even though he never met them, he’s been around the whole time. As I’m sure your Dad will remain. Right there with you. It is both the price we pay for, and also the gift of, love.
    Peace.

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    1. Thanks for your support, Yes, A-holes. Asshats! I’d love to chew them all out. Many in the community, well friends of my dad’s, will be cheering me on! You know, I bet my dad is at the horse races and running through fields with gardens and horses. He talked about that a lot. Like your dad is on a beach in Cape Cod. Now, that’s a good choice! I will be on a beach somewhere, somewhere magical. The fact that your kids echo that sentiment is proof your dad is around. Yes, a gift, indeed. Thank you, Jen.

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  7. Write that letter!! Write that letter!!! Whether it results in anything or not, write that letter!!! I have made a habit of writing letters to my kids’ teachers and administrators at their schools when they aren’t performing up to expectations. The teachers and administrators, not my kids. 😉 I finally stopped a couple of years ago, primarily because my kids started objecting. The way I look at it the only way to change unacceptable behavior is to bring it to the attention of those who are engaging in it and those who can force a change. So, write that letter!!!

    I am shocked that Google has not provided you with the answers you need. OK. Just kidding. While I’m not necessarily the person who would go to a Medium or would believe in stones, I get and support your need for those things. It’s similar to my growing interest in meditation and yoga and just walking along the river these days. You’re in a place where you’re dealing with things and looking for a way to answer questions that are really difficult. Look where you want for those answers, where you think you’ll find them … and more importantly, where you will find the comfort and solace you need.

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    1. Mark, I’m going to write that letter! I will. I promise. I’m going to start it tomorrow. I must do it. I’ll do it for my dad, for everyone who lives there, and I’ll do it so no one else has to suffer this kind of treatment.

      If Google doesn’t know, then we’re screwed, right? Can you believe I actually asked. I’m not even kidding about it, Mark. I wish I were. I hope I can get into meditation. It’s something that has been suggested to me over and over and now I really want to make a real effort. I will hang on to my rock and, like you, it feels good to get out in nature. Maybe I’ll even stop by the river. 🙂

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      1. I totally understand and get you asking Google. I’ve typed some pretty weird things into the ol’ Google search engine over the years. Good luck with your endeavors. You’ll have to let me know how meditation works for you — I really struggle with it, but I think that’s because my expectations are too high.

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  8. You are doing the job you need to do in the way you need to do it in the time you need to do it in. Grief is weird and slippery and you said it, the price we pay to love. I love your pink rock soul Amy. Keep on keepin’ on darlin’. And fight the fight you need to fight.
    Love,
    Shalagh

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    1. Oh, I love that you call it a pink soul rock! Love that. I can’t seem to keep track of it, Shalagh. It always seems to go missing. That’s the biggest challenge with that rock. I need to start wearing clothes with pockets. Thanks so much, Shalagh. Thanks for being here. Love ya, Amy

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss – it’s a huge one. It makes the management’s indifference even worse. I hope you feel better after you write the letter. Wishing you peace and comfort in the days ahead. Hang on to that rock!

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    1. Thank you, Molly. Yeah, it didn’t help that they were such creeps! I’m going to write that letter today and then I think I will feel better. Hanging on to that rock! 🙂

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  10. Amy, I am sorry that your dad is elsewhere. Grief takes us in all manner of funny places, none of them wrong turns, just part of a journey we didn’t quite expect. Take so much good care of yourself and keep your eyes and heart open for evidence that your dad is with you still. And yes, please, report the hell out of those nasty people.

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    1. That’s true, Jen. As unexpected as his death was, so my grief has taken me to strange places. I’ll try the funny. My dad would like that, he was such a jokester. I’d like to think he’s playing jokes on us now. With the shaving cream…that was my brother’s and it ended up in my sister’s car. No one claims putting it there. It was in her cup holder of all places! I’d like to think it was him. I will continue to look out for him and talk to him. What else can I do? Reporting the hell out of the nasty people will help. Thank you, Jen.

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  11. I’m very sorry to hear that on top of suffering your grief you had an encounter with a heartless imbecile. Anyone who is so mean to someone grieving must be miserable. I’m sure that working in a senior living community is not a cakewalk, the pay is lousy and they must encounter many residents who buy their rainbow, but what good is accomplished by behaving callously toward someone who has just experienced a profound loss? She’s invited bad karma and you’re going to deliver it via letter. I have a simplistic view of life, but I think you can be part of the problem or the solution. Why go out of your way and make a situation worse? It defies logic.

    I know that you’re deep in the seven stages of grief. I hope that you’ll eventually find answers that will lead to acceptance. But, right now, this is so fresh and this is a tough loss, especially being sudden so you’re also dealing with shock. Just do what you have to do to get through it, if it’s consulting a spiritual medium, rocks or minerals. Those aren’t my things, but I think grieving is very personal. If there are no set rules, I don’t know them. I think it’s just a process that takes time.

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    1. It was the last thing I needed was to deal with them over there. I think they honestly don’t have a clue how callous they were being. Everything is some big confrontation with them. I think that’s simply their normal approach to everyone who lives there. It was pretty tough at the end when most of my family had to leave. Luckily, my dad’s neighbor helped me throughout. I don’t think I would have been able to do it all if it wasn’t for her. I think someone is watching over me. You’re right, it is fresh. Sometimes, I think I can still just call him. I still see his apartment, so why can’t I call him? It happened that one day I saw him, and then never again. It doesn’t feel real sometimes. So, yes, it’s still fresh. Thanks for all your support, V. I so appreciate it.

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      1. My sister has a message on her home voicemail of our dad wishing her a happy birthday a few years ago. It’s a link to him that means so much to her. It’s Dad. I don’t know if this woman was so hatd-hearted toward you in this time of grief because she is trying to protect herself or if she’s completely lacking an empathy gene. Either way, her personality sounds like a mismatch for this gig. I’m glad that your dad’s neighbor was there for you. This is not the time to be a selfish jerk. When my dad died, logically I knew I couldn’t call him, but emotionally, I irrationally hoped this didn’t happen and if I called, he’d still be there. Losing loved ones is an emotional roller coaster. I know this bumpy ride having been on it twice. Just allow yourself to feel sad, angry, baffled, whatever emotion is going on with you (for me there have been many including feeling lucky) as you work through this.

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      2. I can see why your sister would keep that message. As for the management, the whole staff was that way. A us against them mentality. It makes no sense. They are constantly citing some policy. Thank you, V. A roller coaster ride is the best way to describe it. Thanks for all your support.

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  12. Each of us handle death/grief in a different way, so what is good for one isn’t good for someone else. In other words, I’m not sure what to say besides give yourself a chance while not challenging time.

    In terms of the management company, very sad. Be strong, Amy … be strong!

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    1. Who knows. Tomorrow could bring a whole new set of ideas. I like the idea of giving myself a chance while not challenging time. No matter what I do, I think that is a good way to think and a good approach. Thanks, Frank. Yes, management will be hearing from me!

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  13. It bears repeating: there’s no expiration on grieving, Amy. Take your time and do it fully! As hard as it is, it does come in phases… over and over, cropping up over the years, to remind you that there will always be a scar on your heart. Scars are not always ugly; they remind us that we healed. Like others, I fully believe that those we loved, remain with us… you’ll find your own messages.

    Write that letter… then hold on to it, read it again and perhaps write another copy. I find that I often spew and then find clarity and write the most kick ass responses later! But don’t let them off the hook!
    (( hugs ))

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    1. Every couple of days my grief seems to change colors. I think what you say is important, to grieve fully and to to take the time to do it. It seems people are often in such a hurry to move on, not the ones that are grieving so much, but others in their life. I haven’t felt that so much, so that’s good. So far, people have been really kind. His death does make me re-evaluate my life. It really changes you, doesn’t it? What matters, what counts, the why of everything.
      I still haven’t wrote the letter, but I’ve made a promise to myself. I will do it! Right, do not let them off the hook. Thanks for stopping by Dawn. It means a lot to me. Hugs!!

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