Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BEWARE: Long Post Ahead


"No matter how much your heart is breaking the world doesn't stop for your grief"

I've been in California for over two weeks now. Many of you know that but most of you don't. It makes me sad that I've been in town for so long and am so close to old friends but I just can't pick up the phone.

I've been staying at my dad's house for the past two weeks as his life is coming to a close. That's as gentle as I can put it. It's not very easy to type that statement, even that masked description. I've been here on my own (w/o Shane & the babies) for over a week. I miss them so much and feel even more lost without Shane by my side. He is my rock, the steadying force in my life. In a few days I will be home.

For two weeks, I have watched my Daddy shrink, much like a Shrinky-Dink. That may sound crude but he's been withering away so quickly that it's a lot like watching those magical creations transform in the oven. Only it's a lot less like magic and much more like sorrow.

Sometimes I feel like my dad is a tree and his roots run through me and hold me up as I grow into an independent being. Have I grown enough to stand without him? How long will it hurt as I continually find he's not there when I seek his counsel? What will it be like to take my kids to Disneyland knowing that my dad looked forward to taking them since the day the first one was born? How long will the empty spot in my heart ache for?

I am fortunate to have a firm belief in what will happen to him after he dies. Most of my friends and in-laws share the same faith as Shane and I so many of you know the comfort the gospel brings to me during this aweful period of my life. I thought that my faith would be sufficient to ward off most of my sorrow but it is falling short. I do not currently have an eternal perspective. Months are long, years take time. I can't stop the anger and sadness for the loss I will have to endure for the rest of MY life. I am selfish. I am mortal. I am 27 and my 61 year old father may not see his birthday next month. I know he will never see his grandchildren again. My heart ached to no end as he kissed them goodbye last week. And they really had no idea it was the last time they'd see their Pop Pop.

We've been trying to prepare Lexie for this loss. I am thankful for the language the gospel has given me. I don't have to use vague terms like ''heaven". She will not think her grandfather is hovering over some land on a puffy white cloud. She will be comforted by the truth and knowledge that he will be with his parents and he will be safe and loved and cared for. (We also told her he'd be happy because his mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies with lots of walnuts just like Pop Pop likes. It's true and it actually made a lot of sense to her). He will be happy, he just won't be here.

Unfortunately, I'm a grown up now and I do not have the luxury and comfort of youth. I am a wife and I cannot shut down. I am a mother and I cannot hide under the covers. I am an adult and I cannot rage at the person next to me. I am accountable for what I do and what I say no matter how I feel. (Stolen quote)

I was originally going to use this post to write about what this experience has been like. The day to day and more specific aspects. But for now I'm going to remain vague and philosophical. My eyes can't take any more sadness tonight. And my heart's pretty tuckered out as well.

I'm sorry I haven't been in better touch these past few weeks. I know you understand and I appreciate all hugs you've been sending. As you may have guessed, I did not bring my journal with me so you may be hearing from me again.

Pop Pop & Omi
(Dad & Lou Ann)
With lots of help he was able to go outside for a few minutes today.

4 comments:

Lubniewski said...

Kenzie, my heart is with you. I am so sad to hear about what you're having to deal with right now. I'll be in Oakland on Sunday for my nephew's 1st birthday, if you're around and want a hug let me know, there will be plenty of time for me to see you.

The Cooper Family said...

Kenz this is the third time today I've read your post. I'm not good with emotions or with death but here's what I've been thinking.
I don't have a ton of friends. I think I could count my true friends on one hand. You make the short list. I am glad I've been able to help with the kids but I wish I'd hugged you tighter when I saw you. You are being amazingly strong and I hope you are taking the time to be a little weak too. Miss you and see you soon.

Kenzie Rose said...

Hil, I've read your comment 100 times.

It makes me happy.

Thanks for the smiles.

Lubniewski said...

Kenz, I totally remember that conversation, too. It makes me happy that I could share that with you and that it's been a comfort to you. Life is super hard sometimes and you have to figure out ways to deal with it.