Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A few things

  • My 28th birthday is on Friday. I'm having a 1965-themed birthday party. I bought a new dress and tonight I'm going to practice putting my hair in a beehive. It may mean I don't have time to vacuum, but I think my friends will agree that I made the right choice.
  • I'm registered in a 5k run on Sunday. I will let you know how it goes (my goal is not to collapse, which should give you a sense of my fitness level these days!).
  • I bought a Fitbit One and it's my new best friend.
  • I have a cat right now, and this is what happens when I sit at my computer:
I tried to get a picture of her nudging my hand, but this is the best I could do.
  • The reason I have a cat right now is that my sister, Lucy, is living in Wales for a few months doing research with a professor there as part of her PhD (I don't know if I've mentioned on here before that I have such a smart sister!). Her boyfriend is with her right now, so I have his cat! 
  • My mom and I are planning a Europe trip to visit Lucy in December! We've never been to Europe before, so we are beyond excited.
Today I kept thinking about my dad. At work, I found myself thinking about the last few years before he died: all of the hospital visits, all of the surgeries, all of the recoveries. And yet, despite his poor health, his death still felt like such a shock.

At yoga, during Savasana, I was thinking about the time right around his death. I thought about the last day I ever saw him, in the hospital on New Year's Eve, 2011. I thought about the day he died. I was living in Thunder Bay when I found out. I packed a bag in a fog, got a friend to drive me to the airport, and boarded the next flight home to Toronto. I remember debating whether or not I should bring black clothing home - a part of me thought I should be optimistic and not pack for a funeral. But, of course, I knew there would be a funeral.

On the flight home, I listened to the same song on my ipod over and over again (Pumped Up Kicks, for some inexplicable reason). Thankfully, no one was sitting next to me. Less than 24 hours later, I was leaving the funeral home with my mom and my sister, having already made countless decisions about a situation that felt completely surreal.

I have no idea how I finished my school year (I was completing my B.Ed. at the time). I flew back to Thunder Bay after 2 weeks in Toronto, and somehow finished my coursework. Then I was back home for a 5-week practicum teaching high school English (the subject my dad had taught my whole life).

Some days, my dad's death is like a fact that my brain will occasionally flit to without making a big fuss. But sometimes, it feels like a piece of information that I can't quite process. Something does not compute. I can't understand where my dad is, and I don't quite believe that he doesn't know where I work now or where I live now, or that I didn't just talk to him yesterday on the phone.

I don't like to think about time passing - time feels like an ever-widening gulf between us. I felt this very acutely in the weeks after he died. Each passing minute was like an affront to his memory. It's a cliche, but it truly didn't feel right that the world could keep going on while he wasn't in it. I can't make sense of it sometimes, so I keep going over and over the facts in my brain, trying to fit it all together so I can finally have it neatly filed away and resolved.

Anyway, I should get ready for my 60s party on Friday. I think my dad would appreciate it.


Enz said...

Happy almost birthday!!!! My das just passed away this April and although I have so many happy memories, I can't see forward to a time that my eyes won't tear up everytime I am reminded of him.

I am in Fitbit - - send me a friend request!

Katie said...

Thanks, Enz! I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I am fairly new to Fitbit - I didn't realize I could have friends! I will look for you!

Anonymous said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I would NEVER even TRY to compare your loss to mine, but I did want to tell you that I too can't always accept that the world can go on without my Grandmother. How dare it? How dare it go on without my other two Grandparents too? I'm still not completely sure how to live without her and as a result, haven't even gone to the cemetery yet. It's been almost two years. I STILL find myself wanting to call her on the phone and then realizing that I can't.


p.s. Your Dad would DEFINITELY think that your 60's party is the bees knees!

Chezjulie said...

Hi Katie, I could relate to a lot of this post about your grief over your father's death. My Dad died 6 years ago and I found it hard to comprehend, too. I remember quite a few months into it feeling like it had JUST happened, and why couldn't other people get that.

I will say that in my experience, although you do move past it (or through it maybe) over the years and manage to recreate your life without them in it and think of them less, that doesn't mean there's a permanent gulf. Sometime something will happen that will rekindle your memories. This year there was an anniversary of an event that reminded me of my Dad, and he has been so much more on my mind than in recent years.