I have been trying to process my father's death over these last several weeks. I feel like I have been coming to terms with it, slowly but surely. I don't cry on a daily basis, but things will come out of the blue to make me melt into a puddle. That will vary from day to day, but it still happens. A couple of days ago, it was simply passing a hearse on the road. It was my second hearse in two days. Another day it was watching the movie "Oh God," because I remember watching that series with my family. Today it was the announcement on Facebook of my preschool best friend finally having her first baby. Dad was following her story so closely on Facebook since we found each other again. We saw each other at his visitation and bawled on each other's shoulders. It was the first time we had seen each other in almost 20 years.
Every time I have one of these random episodes I randomly start asking all kinds of questions. They are of that evil "What If" nature. I always feel like a fool, because I can't change the past. Nevertheless, they force their way into my brain. "What if I would have actually made it home that week when he fell?" "What if I would have braved the ice and snow and taken care of the paperwork for Mom myself?" "What if he would have just listened to me and gone to the doctor in the first place?" "What if I would have pushed harder for the surgery?"
Consciously I am fully aware that these questions are moot at this point. I cannot go back and change what happened. It was completely out of my hands. I do accept this on most levels, but I just can't help myself at times.
I have always been a dreamer. I like to imagine how scenarios could have been different. Part of that is also being a writer. And can you blame me for wishing that my father was still here with me? I have always been a Daddy's girl, from the moment I came into this world. I was the one with him when he left this world. We talked about everything. For the first time in my life I am having to make decisions without his counsel. I cannot call my mother, either, because she is in such a weird state with her Alzheimer's.
As I face life's decisions on my own, I am faced with new questions. "Am I doing what is right for me?" "Have I surrounded myself with the right people?" "What is next?"
These are normal questions that anyone may face. But when you are faced with answering them by yourself for the first time, they seem more pronounced.
I know I am going to be okay. Those questions will be answered in time, just like always. I *am* fine, relatively speaking. It just feels so different now.