Step 3 in the 10 steps to grieving the loss of a parent is
Address any unfinished business with your parent. It is very common for unresolved feelings toward your parent to surface after his or her death. The grieving period is an important time to heal these old wounds and begin to say good-bye.
I certainly have had some unresolved feelings. Many I expressed the evening of his death. I cried to my brother about a few things when I was out in the yard taking a break. Literally crying, my heart hurt so much and I was angry with my dad for having turned a blind eye for most of my life to certain things that he could have done something about and then for leaving me to deal with it without him.
Since his death, I certainly have expressed a few things. It is difficult in some ways. As you can see by reading my blog how wonderful my Dad was. He was a giant of a man in so many ways. He wasn't perfect and he never claimed to be. In fact if you were to have asked him, he would think he was the farthest thing from the "giant" of a man that he really was. So pride was not one of his misgivings.
He shared with me on a few occasions that he felt as one of eight children, his father did not "like" him. In fact I think he even used the word Loved. He said that was one of the reasons that he gave so much love, he never wanted other people to feel unloved as he had. His own Grandmother Green was someone that he felt that unconditional love from. I prayed those last few days that his Grandma Green would come to meet him and take him with her.........I wanted someone that he felt loved him, to come and get him. Although, now that I think of it, how special would that have been if his father had come for him.......he finally would know that he really did love him.
The interesting thing about that story is that, without understanding what he was doing, he left me a similar legacy. I felt unloved since I was a small child, but most significantly since I was 10 years old. I grew up, not feeling good enough. It just is what it is. I can't change that. As an adult I can do something about it, I can know that I am lovable and allow myself to love and be loved.
I realize that I am speaking ambiguously here......but there are people who are still alive that could be hurt by things that I could write here and I don't want that to happen, thus I am not spelling this out. However the point is made. Due to his inability to see that someone was hurting me, he allowed that to happen.....he didn't do it....he just turned a blind eye to it. He didn't know and I think now that he does know....he would have done things differently.
That was always my big beef with my Dad and it kept me from having a close relationship with him for a number of years. We always loved each other, I just kept my distance.
I am thankful that in the last 8 years our relationship started to become close again and I was able to be a daugther to him and he was able to be my father. Again, the love never suffered.......it was always there and even when I wasn't the most attentive daughter, his love for me never lost an ounce. Again, I am grateful that the last years of his life, we were strong with each other........it may make that my difficult now that he is gone, but I would rather have that, then have guilt for not having been there for him.
So I think I have done well with step #3, I have given him some heck for what he left me with to deal with. I think the thing that I may need the most with this step is more the opposite......release of concerns that I have about what happened at the end of his life. Wanting to know that he was pleased with how I handled it all........I have many questions about this........my brothers and my mother have reassured me that I did the right things, that they are glad for what I did for our Dad.......it still just eats at me......I want to know what my DAD thinks......and I can't ask him........Funny how that works......I think I just want that big hug and kiss.........that strong, won't let me go until I know that I am loved hug........to say......."everything was perfect girl" "I am so proud of you".
There is no doubt that I miss my Dad the worst on the weekends.....it is just far more intense. I think it is that way for 2 reasons. First, weekends is most often when I would talk to him on the phone and second, during the week at work, I don't have time to think about his death much....at least not in the grieving way. I think about him constantly actually during the week, I just don't have time to let it touch my heart........the weekends though.......they feel very empty......and I just........Miss.Him.