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I didn't feel like writing anything yesterday, and then we were gone all evening, and by the time I got home I was too tired and sad to make the effort. Yesterday was the 9-year anniversary of my dad's death. I felt like I should have done something more to mark the day, to remember him, but usually it just makes me mad because he didn't NEED to die. He could have done so much to stop the downward slide. Around midnight as we were getting into bed, I said, "I should have called my mom," and Anders told me to do it, but I didn't. She's moved on, and so have we all. We've moved on for 9 years.

Anders said that the thing that made him the most sad about it was the fact that my dad never got to meet our kids. He would have been so thrilled by the kids.

I was sad about other things, too, but it seemed easiest to let them dissolve into the night and let my sadness about my dad bubble over them.

When my mom called the office in Chicago that day, she was concerned that I would fall apart at the news. It was my last day of work at a job I had loved, my last day of living in a city I loved, the last day of my old life, as we were about to spend 3 weeks in Michigan with my parents for Christmas before moving to Sweden. I was training my replacement, Mark, and when the call came through the secretary, before I even heard it, I just KNEW. I knew it. I wasn't even surprised. He'd been so close so many times before and so, it seemed sometimes, determined...or do nothing to help himself.

I didn't cry. I think now that I was in some sort of shock, but at the time everything just seemed very clear. I had to train my replacement, since I had only the rest of that day to do it, and by god, train him I would. Mark seemed to think that I would want to cancel the training and leave or something, but I remember laughing that off and being very determined that no, no, we would do what needed to be done. I didn't cry all day. I don't think I even thought about it.

Later, sitting in the passenger seat of the rental car, as Anders manoeuvred the rush-hour traffic on 94 south out of the city, all I could think was that he was SO YOUNG. He was 56 years old. I cried in the car on the way to Michigan. I cried on Christmas, 5 days later, when the gifts to him, already wrapped days earlier, were the only ones left under the tree. I didn't cry last night, though; I was just sad.

This morning, the melancholy is still hanging in the air, although it's beginning to evaporate. Anders took the kids to school and let me sleep in, but I got up after they left, unable to get back to sleep. I started wrapping presents last night only to discover that the piles for the kids are uneven and I need to go get one more thing for Karin. And I was ALL DONE, darn it. I'm off in a moment to peruse cookie recipes and check ingredients and possibly run to the store for whatever's missing before I start the big cookie-baking extravaganza that I have planned for today. Cookies make everything better.
mood: okay
music: Glenn Yarbrough—Baby, the Rain Must Fall

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The sadness, the getting-on-ness, the uneven piles (curse those kids who count!) and the baking ... the swirling of life. My sympathies, my understanding, my wishes for a good baking day.

thank'ee kindly, ma'am.


Regarding the kids presents: Why don't you just take away one for Martin and save it for some other time? Then you can be done and get the needed rest you need.

Heh. Got this too late to answer you before I'd already run to the store...but I couldn't do your suggestion in this particular case, since the presents I've got for Martin were all sort of timely, and I was afraid that they would be too young for him by his next birthday, which is Dec 7 (so I would have had to hold it for a whole year). Oh well, I'm a present fiend for my kids anyway. :)

Thinking of you today too, hon. This is what they mean by bittersweet, I think.

Been thinking of you all day, hope you're holding up alright. Even if you've moved into a prepared mental space, it still can't be easy. Hugs to you, too.

Your kids are indeed delightful. I wish your dad could have known them, too.

thanks, you :)

I'm so sorry to hear you've experienced such a loss. *hugs*

My husband and I were also sad that my father, who passed away in 1993, never got to see his grandchildren. He was the kind of man whose sole pleasure in life was his own children, and would have been a wonderful grandfather.

Although I subsequently divorced my husband, I was always happy that my father had known him, and liked him. He parted this earth knowing that--at that time--I was with a good man, and I was happy.

Death anniversaries are tough; another year gone without his witnessing these times. My father's death was not preventable (he had a brain tumor) but I sometimes think it was a beautiful way to go...he was young, (63), hardly suffered, (9 weeks from diagnosis to death) and died at home with a view of the mountain he had loved all his life.

Anyway, I understand your post and send you my comforting thoughts.

Thank you, I appreciate your kind words. :)


I hope today brings you closer to the holiday spirit.
Hugs to you.

Thanks, Shelagh. The holiday spirit and I are like *this* :) Dealing with the fact of my dad's death every year this time is a part of it.


We were discussing the death of Lars-Göran's father the other day and came to the same conclusion as Anders - what a pity that he wasn't around to see his grandchildren grow up.

Hope your cookie therapy works :)

It's such a shame, isn't it?? Although I suppose if everyone lived to see their grandchildren grow up, next thing you know they'd be wanting to live to see their great-grandchildren, and then their great-great-grandchildren, and really...we must draw the line somewhere.

It's interesting how we actually process grief, as opposed to how we feel we're *supposed* to do it. I know some people can't understand that, but I've seen and experienced enough to know that even the determination to finish training your replacement with a single-minded fervor is an expression of grief: it was your mind pushing something huge off to one side so you could come back to it later when you were able.

My condolences on your loss.

Very true. I was aware of it even at the time, like I was standing outside myself. Thanks for your kind words :)

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

it should be forbidden to die around christmas time. and around people's birthdays. and during vacation. erhm... *hugs*

I agree. If we ran the world things would be different around here.

The dichotomy of Christmas is a strange thing -- so much joy, yet sorrow, too. Many hugs to you, and those lovely grandchildren, over whom I know your father is watching, from whatever plane of existence follows this one.

Cookies do make everything better, don't they? There's something soothing about the familiar, about tasks that connect us back to earlier days, about the alchemy of turning raw ingredients into something that wafts wonderful odors from the oven. The act of creating is a great antidote to Life's harsher turns.

Yes, thank goodness for cookies :) The house smelled really yummy today and I'm only half done :)

I'm with you

Lizardek, thank you for sharing such a private anguish. I am so sorry for the sadness and the loss of your dad-- especially as it sounds from what you've written that he had checked out emotionally some time before. 56 is SO young. But life can be so painful sometimes, people think there's only one path out . . I am thinking of you strongly today-- and it's true-- your dad must've been DAMN proud of you and would be thrilled by his beautiful grandchildren. Hugs, bluepoppy

Re: I'm with you

Thanks, dear. Having you with me means a lot. :)

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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