darkness · death · grief · vulnerability



How do I feel right now? I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel, but I’ve been trying to answer this question for myself all morning. I feel something though. I think I feel very optimistic and positive about life. Honestly… I didn’t three months ago, I didn’t think I could do cancer. I flat out told mom, “Mom I can’t do this. I can’t do cancer. It kills people and if dad has it… well I just can’t do it.” Now that I think back on that moment… well, I guess I was saying I can’t do death because I knew death was coming quickly.

But… now that I’m here, 3 months from the words I spoke… well I did cancer and I’m doing death. I didn’t have a choice at all. Even if I ignored it all, I’d still be a part of it. Whether I embraced it or not, it was still going to become a part of my life. I was still going to become a daughter who’s father died of cancer….. and I don’t know how I feel about that. I don’t like answering emails and having to say, “my father passed away.” It has gotten easier with time, but it’s still so foreign to me.

Mom thinks the hardest battle for me is ahead. She thinks when I go back to Cali it will be a challenge for me. She thinks this based off of her own experience. I honestly don’t know what will happen. But I do know as the oldest… well as the oldest I feel responsible for so much. I feel like I need to take care of everyone and have everything in some kind of systematic order when I leave. I’ve always felt this way…. like I need to care for those around me and get life done. Dad may be dead, but life is still moving forward. Bills have to be paid, his house has to be finished and someone has to take care of my grandparents.

And I know my mom is going to take care of them…. but she’s young. She’s young and has a life to live too. There’s no telling what’s in front of her and how amazing her life will become after death. I think she has so much curiosity inside of her. So much want to learn and travel and just enjoy life. It’s funny… but through this experience life has been put in such beautiful perspective for me. I’ve begun to realize that my parents used to be young. I know that’s obvious… but I’ve really begun to realize that they were young and had dreams, goals and wants in life. I’ve always looked at their pictures and enjoyed digging through their past… but their youth was never put in perspective for me. Now it is… and it’s strange. I think it’s strange because I’ll be in their place one day. I’ll be talking about my friends to my children. I’ll be telling stories and reliving the past… and I guess I’ve never seen myself doing that.

In so many ways just thinking about having a family and my father not being here… well it hurts. It hurts so badly. Over the last few years my dad was always saying he couldn’t wait until I got married so he could have grandchildren. He wanted that so much. And my response always played like this, “dad… one day. But not yet. I’m young and I want to enjoy my life right now. Not yet.” Now… well I don’t regret that I haven’t checked all the boxes like so many others, but I do kind of wish I had just so my dad could’ve been a part of it all. And so many say he’ll be there in spirit, but it’s not the same.

When I started writing, I didn’t know how I felt… and in truth I’m feeling a lot. Just talking my way through my thoughts is helping me realize my feelings are a lot heavier than I thought and they need to be expressed. It kind of makes me wonder if emotions are this strong for everyone. Do we all feel very strongly about things, but we don’t know how to truly express them so our feelings are ignored? Or do only some of us feel sensitive toward emotions and choose to express them? I think my feelings are a lot deeper than my thoughts. Or maybe not deeper, but just more spread out. There’s a wide range of them.

So I feel a lot of different emotions at once… but I’m not good at expressing them and using them to their full potential. And I need to get better at that. I need to change it up a little and really express how I am feeling and why. It’s good therapy for me and I feel so much better after… lighter and more alive.

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