I woke up queasy and guilt-ridden. I was dreaming, or should I say having a nightmare. I dreamt I had forgotten to call or visit my dad in his care community for two weeks. I am not going to try to explain my dream because pieces of it still don’t make sense.
However, as I try to untangle my thoughts, I rationalize that Dad had been dead before Mom and in my dream, I had just lost my Mom. So how was I dealing with my grief over the loss of Mom so much so that I failed to contact and check in on my Dad? How did I exclude him from mom’s funeral?
I said I wasn’t going to try and explain, but then I just tried to explain …. sorry for the “mansplain”.
The aftereffects of caregiving and loss subside over time, but I’m still surprised by the depth and ferocity of the emotions that overwhelm me. I wonder if it’s seeing all the chocolate boxes for Valentines Day that has my parent’s on my mind. Mom used to love Russell Stover’s chocolates. Over time, she lost her love for them and moved onto See’s Peanut Brittle. She would eat it 24/7 and just the smell of it now makes me nauseous. Mom was always a picky eater and was losing weight she couldn’t afford. I was resigned to see her at least eat something she loved.
As I ignore Valentine’s Day believing telling your loved ones you love them should not happen one day a year … I will take some time today reflecting on how lucky I was to have my parents around until their 80’s. Calmed.