I am not really grieving my Dad yet. Instead I’m still in a holding pattern, emotionally.
The last time we had a death in the family, I remember being in “project mode” in the days leading up to the funeral. During this time we were so busy making plans for the funeral and viewing that there was little time to completely break down (which is not to say there weren’t complete break-downs, but they were limited due to knowing that we had a lot to do). Then after the funeral is when everything really started to sink in, and we truly started to say our good-byes and come to terms with our loss.
With Dad we can’t yet start to let things sink in. Why? Because he left Mom in a huge financial mess. Without getting into details, let’s just say that there’s money owed to the IRS and there is no equity in the house. Basically Mom has nothing besides her social security income.
So, instead of starting to mourn Dad, we are still in crisis mode: where is Mom going to live? Can she bring her cats? What do we do with Dad’s personal stuff? Normally they recommend that you don’t make big decisions for a year after such a loss, but we don’t have that luxury – we can’t afford the house beyond April.
We are also mad at Dad for leaving Mom in such a state. I know that he didn’t mean to leave her like this. He had no intention of leaving us right now – he had made lots of plans for his recovery and beyond. The main reason he was in such dire straights is because the economy is in the shitter and the construction business isn’t doing very well right now (Dad was a carpenter). But its hard not to be mad, especially because he hid from Mom just how far in the crapper their finances were.
The only ray of sunshine is that we have a friend of the family who deals with closing estates. He’s helping us to navigate this confusing time, and going to make sure that Mom gets the most out of her social security as she can.
I’m afraid for when I leave crisis mode – I know this is going to hit me pretty hard. But for now I’m just exhausted, angry, and in a holding-pattern.