Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Uncheer.

I wasn't sure whether to write about this or not. I thought about when to post it.

I will tell you that if you don't want anything to be a bummer for your holiday, you should probably skip it until after Christmas. I warn you. It's heavy, and it's sad.


Alright, you choose to read.

Be ready.

I got home after my 20-mile run on Saturday (I did it 15-minutes faster this time, and I felt way better) and my sister called. "Did you get my message?"

"No, I just got home. I haven't checked my messages yet."

Long silence.

"Bari, what was the message?"

Long silence, and then a deep breath. I kind of knew what was coming.

"Daddy's gone. I found him this morning."

It's may seem somewhat strange for me to divulge this on line, to people who may or may not know me well. But here goes.

My father chose the exactly time and manner of his death. At the age of 74, he decided that he did not want to face any health or mental declines, and he chose instead to leave the world to join my mother, who passed away in 1998.

The grief, and anger, the sadness, weigh heavy on me. I'm angry at him for doing this to my sister. This is my sister's holiday memory now, finding her father dead at Christmas. She spend the last month taking time off work to take care of him after his car accident, making sure that he was geting the care that he needed, paying his bills while he recovered. They lived in the same town together in Alabama near where my mother is buried. I would call and check up on him, and talk to her, to see how things were going. On Thursday, she took him home to his apartment, and got him set up with a home health care worker. He was doing well.

The last night he was alive, he had her copy all his addresses and phone numbers into her address book, make sure his apartment was clean, and shave him. He laughed and joked. There was no sign. No clue. She kissed him goodbye, and left.

Then the next day she called him. The phone rang, and rang, and rang. And rang...

I expected that at some time in the future I would lose my father. Nobody lives forever. I'd even started preparing myself emotionally fot it. But not for this. My sister is left with this holiday memory, as am I. I am also left with a host of "what if's" and "if only's". No note, other than "I love you all" scribbled on a folder. No explanation. No email. I'm angry that I didn't get to say goodbye. I'm angry that he planned this and couldn't have planned it in a way in which someone would find him who wouldn't be haunted by the memory of December 22nd.

My aunt called me to talk to me about it. "There's a lot of depression in our family, you know"

no kidding.

There's a lot of substance abuse and suicide. in my family. I run. I run, and run and mull things over in my mind. As far as I know, I'm the only one in my family that does. I think about how my decline and/or absence would affect those that love me, and I work things out. I try to stay healthy. I spread myself thin, but it's so that the loss of one part of my life would not make me think my life was over.

I'm still pissed. And grieving. I can't write any more right now.



  1. I'm so sorry, dear. Words are inadequate at a time like this.

    A lot of people in my life have departed this world at this time of year. Some were by choice and some were by chance. It's not easy under any circumstances, but it doesn't have to taint your holidays in years to come if you choose not to let it.

    Peace to you and your sister.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your father, you will be in our thoughts.

  3. OK, I'm just gonna say what I think here, rightly or wrongly...

    what a selfish asshole. Taking himself out of the picture at Christmas is not fair.

    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Misty. I really am. I don't blame you for being angry. I'm thinking of you.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. As a "kid" who lost his Dad on a holiday I can relate, but mine was not by choice. You have every right to be angry and I'm so sorry. As always, if there is anything I can do.....

  5. I'm so very, very sorry.

    Ultimately I do think it's someone's own choice, but you're completely right in being angry that he chose to do it in that way, to leave you with the pain.

  6. I'm so sorry. I hope that writing about it was a bit helpful at least and promise that I will read whatever else you have to say on the subject, cuz I know sometimes it just feels good to be heard.

  7. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. We lost our dad three years ago at Christmas, so that I can relate to, but I imagine you have so many different emotions running through you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. I'm really sorry about your father. While I do agree that we shuold have the option of making the choice like he did, to do it at this time of year is very uncool.

    I wish there was more to say but there's really not.

  9. I'm so very sorry about your loss. While words do fail in such an instance, know that you have the healthy life you have crafted and rely on your friends and family for support. I won't give you the shpiel about time healing all, cause that's bologna. But you and your sister will find some sense buried in all this anger and confusion and there will be moments of peace. I hope these moments provide a respite, along with your running.

  10. I am so sorry....

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. You will find some peace ,comfort and healing in your training time when you return. Take care of yourself.

  12. Oh, Misty, I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. I'm very sorry for your loss. You have a right to all of your emotions, whatever they are. You're in my prayers to find peace with the situation when the time is right. All the best to you and your sister.

  14. I'm so sorry for your loss. I've experienced losing someone at this time of year, but not by choice. I can't imagine what your family must be going through.

  15. wow... benny told me about this yesterday while i was folding clothes, but it's the first time i had a chance to come read this for myself. what a tragedy. i feel for you and your sister. my dad... well, he's never NOT been depressed. i've struggled with his depression my whole life. it's not fair. i can't imagine having to go through what you're going through. you're in my heart and my prayers. take care of your sister. she needs you now. god bless.

  16. Sorry about your father and even more sorry that he thought there was no other way. Hopefully over time you can celebrate his life during the holidays rather than dwell on how it ended. Hope you're doing well.


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