Wednesday, September 12, 2007


So, it is done. My father is buried, and my anger, so long pushed back and forgotten, has now been confronted, contemplated, addressed and is buried with him.

Yes, it was hard to go to the funeral, seeing him in that coffin and knowing we would never have another chance to know each other. It was nearly impossible to see my sister and my nephew grieve for the man they knew and loved. I hurt more for them than for anyone or anything else.

It was hard listening to other people talk about what a wonderful, loving, caring father he was and what a difference he made in so many people's lives while I sat there knowing it was a lie. It was heartbreaking to meet people who didn't even know he had an oldest daughter and I was it. He erased me from his life much as I erased him from mine, and it hurt to know that I mattered so little to him that he couldn't even talk about me, good or bad.

I would have preferred people to at least know me as "That bitch daughter who never called," than not know I existed.

I think my mother said it best when she said "To you, he died a long time ago, and when he did, he died to you on purpose." So very, very true. There is a big difference between the way he died to me emotionally and mentally when he made that decision to exclude me from his life nearly two decades ago and now, when he died physically. The first death was so much harder for me than the second. The physical death happens to everyone, no one is immune and no one has any control over when it happens. The emotional and psychological death is a choice someone makes.

And in the end, the more things change, the more things stay the same, to steal a trite saying. My step-siblings? Exactly the same but a touch grayer around the edges and carrying a bit more weight. My step-mother? Not exactly the same...worse. I hate to throw around the word "crazy" for fear of offending all the other crazies out there, but crazy is as crazy does.

Some positive things came out of my father's death, if you can say good does come from death. I made a few re-connections that I lost years ago, and made some new connections that I hope to keep. His death made me look inwardly at some of the resentment I've been harboring and let it go and forgive. I promised myself to remember to make time for my family and tell them I love them every day, even when I'm grumpy, and especially when I have a thousand things on my To Do list.

I was also reminded to double check my life insurance, update my will, look into pre-arrangements, and increase the amount I'm dumping into the 401K every pay day.

The parts of his body he gave as an organ donor also enabled 60 people to have a chance at a better life. And that's a good thing.


Marriage-101 said...

Your mother - she is brilliant.

Glad you're home safe, and if nothing else, at peace.

Sona said...

I hope what to got out of the experience will serve you well in years to come.

Get some rest.

amy said...

Thanks for being there Jenn, it meant more to me than I can ever express.
And you were SO right that I needed that Sunday night break. Big sis knows best, eh?

Love you tons and tons.

Wendy said...

Yes, nothing like this kind of event to add to your list-making of "shoulds"!

I am amazed about the organ donor deal -- 60 people?! I don't think I have 60 parts people would want.....

Glad you are back home and hugging family.

Ninja Of The Mundane said...

Jenn, I'm proud of you for swallowing back your justified pain and anger in the service of a higher purpose. You turned loss into gain. It takes one hell of a good person to do that.

Honor your past the best you know how ... by purging it through creating the best present possible. Which probably means knuckling down on Unruly's ass because you love her so fucking much you can't stand it.

You rule, my friend. Never doubt it.

grma said...

Glad you got home safe and all is now put to rest. Yes, your younger sister needed you and you did the right thing to be with her. It was nice seeing you, if just for short time. Life doesn't always deal us the best hands and we have to learn to do our best with what we get. Take care. Love Ya much. OX

MP said...

Good for him that he donated his organs..
You are lucky to have such a great mom! She gets it!

I'm glad you had a safe trip.

goat roper said...

You are doing great. You made it through the week and I am glad to see you back on the farm, writing and living life to the fullest. Ninja said it the best! 'YOU rule' and I am proud to be your 'friend'.

Dorky Dad said...

That was a very good comment from your mom. They really do know best, you know?

Jenn said...

Marriage, MP and DD...My mom is pretty amazing, in all aspects. I just wish I'd learned to actually listen to her a lot sooner. Like when I was a teenager and stupid. Everyone should have a mom like mine.'re welcome. That's what sisters do, yes?

Wendy...I was surprised too. They couldn't even use his organs, because he died of a massive heart attack, but when you add up all the people who benefitted from his corneas (he had nearly perfect eyes), veins, cartilage, skin, joints and bone, it's pretty amazing. I hope EVERYONE who reads my blog is an organ donor.

Ninja...thank you. It wasn't an easy trip, that's for certain, but I'm glad I went.

Grma...its ALWAYS good to see you! Thank you and Aunt D and Uncle D for being there. Amy and I really, really appreciated it.

Goat Roper...thank you! I'm glad to be back, too. And I'm definitely living life a little bit fuller now...loving a lot more, living a lot louder and appreciating everything every single day.

slackermommy said...

Your mom rocks!

I hope you get some rest now. I'm sure you are emotionally drained.