08 May 2012

Rest in peace, Dad.

This is going to be a heavy post. I apologize in advance.

I have only ever talked about my Dad a handful of times on this blog. My Father struggled badly, and for a very long time with alcoholism & addiction. He made awful and heartbreaking choices throughout his life, and as a result, we've been estranged for years. The last time I spoke with him, was about 5 years ago. My Dad was very sick and made a request to see my sister and I. After a lot of thought, we decided to take a trip to Ohio to visit him. I think we were hoping we'd find closure, both for us and for him. Needless to say, we did not get it. What we realized is that he had not changed at all and was still living in a way that was extremely unhealthy, in every way imaginable. Since then, I have always had a very hard time forgiving him for his choices and his absence in my life. But I have been slowly making peace with things over the last few years.

Last night, I received a call from my sister that my Dad had passed away. This wasn't much of a shock, as his health has been deteriorating for a very long time. He's been in and out of hospitals for as long as I can remember and we all knew his time was coming. And this time, he just couldn't hold on.

I have extremely mixed emotions about his passing. I am not quite sure what I am feeling. But there are a few emotions I am sure of right now--

I'm sad he never became a person that I could allow into my life, and my family's life.

He pushed away everyone that he ever loved, but I'm comforted to know that he wasn't alone in his last days. My Aunt and Grandma were there with him.

I can tell you that from the moment I found out he was gone, my heart softened and I forgave him with no hesitation. I just wish he knew that.

I am grateful to know that his pain and suffering here on earth have ended.

It's times like this that I am so thankful for my faith. It would make me truly sad to think that he died with his sins and had no chance to repent. But I know that this is not the end for my Father. I truly believe that he will have the opportunity for redemption in the next chapter of life, and I hope he finds it.

Until then.... Rest in peace, Dad.

(My Dad's obituary)

{ this is the last picture my aunt had of my dad }

37 comments:

Bea, OT said...

I am really sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you were able to find some peace by forgiving him. Sending love and prayers your way.

Danni Meyers said...

I'm sorry for your loss. If you ever need to talk please email me at stormi.nightmoon@gmail.com

I know what it is like to lose a parent to addiction and for them to pass away and not be able to say goodbye.

Danni Meyers said...

I'm sorry for your loss. If you ever need to talk please email me at stormi.nightmoon@gmail.com

I know what it is like to lose a parent to addiction and for them to pass away and not be able to say goodbye.

Danni Meyers said...

I'm sorry for your loss. If you ever need to talk please email me at stormi.nightmoon@gmail.com

I know what it is like to lose a parent to addiction and for them to pass away and not be able to say goodbye.

jenni from the blog said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Mandy. Sending you tons of thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

{{{HUGS}}}

Shebreathesdeeply said...

I'm so sorry he passed away.  Praying lots of comfort and peace for you and your family. 

Tales_Of_Two_Girls said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I pray for continued comfort for your family.

Aliya Rinaldi said...

Oh, Mandy... I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm sure that even without having a relationship with him, this is still not easy... Thinking of you and your family during this time.

Amanda M. said...

We lost my father-in-law a year ago under the exact same circumstances.  I am truly sorry for your loss - not just for the passing, but for "what could have been". Prayers for you and your sister.

melanie @ now a queen said...

I am so sorry he passed, but you are right, he has no pain now. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

Angie said...

So sorry for your loss Mandy...praying for you all.

Karli said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry Mandy.  So many emotions you must be feeling.  Will remember you in my prayers.  xo

Amber Gregory said...

I am really, really sorry to hear this, Mandy. Its never easy to lose a parent no matter the circumstances.

Amy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!

Erika @ t.e. and baby said...

I'm really sorry, Mandy. 

My dad just passed away in February and I am still feeling those same feelings you explained in this post.

Please don't hesitate to email me if you want to chat...I know sometimes it helps to talk with people who "get it".

I'll be thinking of you an your family.

Jamie said...

I am extremly sorry for your loss. This post hits home hard for me. My dad is still alive, but we maintain the exact same relationship. It is very hard. I haven't spoken to him in years and since having kids of my own I think it's gotten a little harder. I am sad for him, he is the one missing out. It is such a tough situation, because my sisters and myself have tried, but there is only so much a person can do. The saying it takes two is very true. I know that phone call is not far off and I can't tell you how I am going to feel until it happens. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Andrea said...

I am just so sorry, Mandy.  

Kara @ Just1Step said...

So sorry about your loss, Mandy. :(  I will send up some prayers for your family.

christinagomez123 said...

Mandy, it has been forever since I've commented on your blog (although I continue to read it often), but I had to comment on this post...not only I am SO sorry to hear about your dad and I am sending my heartfelt love and prayers to you (and your sister), but I know exactly (almost) how you feel...my dad was also an alcoholic and addict...he never changed his life around (no matter how bad I wanted him to), and although we weren't estranged there was definitely distance because of his issues. It'll be 3 years on May 15th that I got the call that he was gone...as shocking as it was, it wasn't really because for years he had been in and out of the hospital, drinking, doing drugs, etc. I was SO sad to get the phone call, but like you, had a peace about it because I knew that he was FINALLY free of all his addiction and demons that had inhabited his body for almost SO many years (he was a few months shy of his 59th birthday when he passed). I'm sorry, I'm rambling, but please know you are in my thoughts and prayers! 

Sarah Rolf said...

Thank you for having the courage to share this post. It's very hard having such conflicting feelings about someone as influential as our fathers. I'm glad you have your faith to carry you through. I don't know my biological father and am not close at all to my step dad. It's a tough road without the father figure we always  craved and wanted. 

Sarah:)
http://randomthoughtsfromamomsperspective.blogspot.com/ 

Tiffany said...

So sorry for your loss! Hugs & prayers! xo

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

I don't talk about it on my blog, out of "respect" for my dad, if I can even call it that, more so for the respect of my mom, really. But my dad, too is an alcoholic. Has been for many many years, but I recently found out just 1.5 years ago. His work sent him to rehab back in the fall, he did well for awhile, but then the drinking and lying started again and he hasn't been a part of my life pretty much since Christmas of this last year. I can't have his destructive and manipulative behavior poison my family anymore. I know, to an extent how you feel. I'm glad you feel at peace, and that you were able to forgive him, but I'm sorry for your loss. I fear my dad will follow in your dad's footsteps, it's only a matter of time. He still has his parents in his life, but that's it. I have forgiven my dad, but still cannot have him in my life as he lives his currently. Wishing you the best.

SimplyStavish said...

*Hugs*  I know this took a lot of courage to write about and post.  I have been recently been struggling with m relationship with my mom who suffers from extreme mental illness.  It has impacted her desire to want anything to do with any family members, including me.  It hurts beyond words when your parents make poor decisions and shut you out of their lives.  I am sorry about your dad's passing.  

High Heeled Life said...

Mandy ... as I read your post I could have almost written similar words about my father when we almost lost him a few years ago. Though he had his life and himself together ... our rift was one that I had always felt like an outsider in our family ( i grew up most of my young years with his parents in Europe.. until I came to live with my parents here in North America... where two siblings would complete our family.) It wasn't until my accident ... that I actually discovered just how much my father really cared and loved me ... only to have him pass away a few months later. This time when he did pass away , I felt at peace that he was no ,longer suffering (heart related) and that I think he too found peace in letting me see that he actually cared.

I know your father's challenges were different , but I feel that he loved both you and your sister very much... and his struggles were lessons that needed to be learned and in some way seeing him going through what he did ... made you stronger and determined to follow a better path and make better choices than he did. I don't know where the above came from but I  just clicked away. 

Your father is moving on to a new chapter of existence, one that he will be the man, father you so dream of. xo Blessings and peace to you and your family, HHL

Jesslyn Amber said...

I am so sorry about his passing. It's never easy to lose someone. Praying for you and your family! 

Emily @ PeckLife.com said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, this is heartbreaking but I agree with you...also peaceful in a way knowing he's in a better place and isn't suffering a difficult life. big hugs to you! <3

amy@agoodlife said...

oh mandy, what an honest & heartbreaking post!  i'm so glad you have found peace in his passing & your relationship with him.  and heck yes, so thankful we both know this isn't the end for him.  hugs <3

Amy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family!

Chelsea @The Curly Cues said...

Oh Mandy, this post made me cry. I am so happy that you have forgiveness in your heart and you do not have to carry any regret. I can't imagine the mix of emotions you are feeling, but know that all of us who care about you are thinking of you and keeping your whole family in our prayers.

Nikki said...

Thinking of you two lovely Sisters and your Mother.  I'm glad you're finding peace in your heart.

Skye said...

I am sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose a parent regardless of the relationship. I have a very similar situation as yours... and last I heard my father is not doing well. I dread the day we get THAT phone call. 
Back to you - You said you forgave him once you found out he passed and you wish he knew. Well, I truly believe he knows that now. My feeling is, this life is just the beginning. Now that he has moved on, he will find happiness (redemption like you said)  I'm sure. God Bless. 

Ashley said...

Thinking of you.  Loss is hard no matter the quality of the relationship with the person.  

Andrea said...

I am sorry for your loss. I can totally relate with your situation, but I am recently estranged, so it's a little different, but still difficult. You are a strong woman and I hope you find peace in the near future. 

amanda.dement said...

Thinking of you and praying, at least he is no more pain and I think you did a great by trying to reach out so many times. I am sure he knows you have forgiven him. 

karina powell said...

Your blog is darling. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad! Happy I found you!!
xoxo
http://aaronkarina.blogspot.com

Ashleyforchelli said...

So sad Mandy. Hugs to you and your family. xo

Kuntry Girl said...

I don't know if you will see this as I just happened upon this post (first time on your blog...via a good life...)  Anyway, I felt compelled to comment because I can totally relate to this post...in fact, I feel like I could have written it!  My dad also suffered from alcoholism and made choices that to this day I still don't understand.  He passed away when I was 19 and like you I wasn't all that surprised by his passing, due to the lifestyle he lived.  Although our relationship had been strained, it was beginning to improve, only to hit another rough patch shortly before his passing.  But still, I only think about him with fond memories now.  And I plan to be open with my son about his grandpa, good memories and not so good memories...so that hopefully the mistakes that my dad made can keep him from someday walking down the wrong path. 

I hope you find peace as you process this loss...and in my opinion, I do think your dad knows how you feel now.