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Forgive My Absence
TBD if I'm back in action yet, so here's a quick update on what's happening.
I am drained.
This is partially why I’ve been absent here for the last few weeks. I’ve been avoiding writing about it, too, which is very unlike me given I use writing to process emotions. I always have.
But this time, I just… shut down. I closed myself off to everyone but my family and closest friends.
On Fathers Day, my dad called me and told me has cancer.
I haven’t seen him in person since before the pandemic began — much like most people in my life, whom I haven’t seen since before the pandemic began. It sucks. But it’s my reality and I haven’t really had much of a choice with that if I want to stay safe/healthy. Okay, I’m done defending that. Obviously, it’s still a touchy subject. Probably will be for a while. It is what it is.
The next day, I took the afternoon off and drove to see him. I spent an hour with him. I wish it would have been longer. I would have sat next to him for days if he’d let me, holding his hand through the pain, trying to take his mind away from it. But he won’t and all I can do is respect his wishes.
When I got the call, I crumbled. I didn’t get much information, and for the past three weeks — three weeks feels more like three months — I’ve been trying to get information. My husband has been incredible, gathering everything we learn and creating a “fact sheet” so we are armed with the best information to process everything. Truly, my rock.
But right now… I don’t even know the prognosis. So far, I only know what the current treatment plan is, the type, the stage, where it’s spread… maybe that’s all I need to know for now? This is the hardest thing, I think… the “not knowing” phase of all of this. I am trying to be patient.
I learned the cancer has spread to his bones just hours before I went to see Dave Matthews Band last weekend, my first show in four years. I cried no less than six times and danced out my sadness, anger, frustration, grief. It was an incredible release. I desperately needed it, for more reasons than only this. But outside of crying at the shows last weekend, I haven’t cried since.
And I feel weird about that.
One thing about me: I cry all the time. I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when music hits my brain a certain way, when I watch a movie, when I read a book… but since I let it out at DMB last weekend, I haven’t cried more than my eyes tearing up while watching a TV show.
Since I got the message about how much it has spread and what the updated treatment plan is, I haven’t heard anything else. I feel like I am sitting in a dark room, with light only pouring through the tiny cracks in the walls. I am working with limited information. Coupled with the fact my dad doesn’t feel like talking on the phone or having visitors because of the pain he’s in… It’s understandable, but truth be told, I feel locked out. Like I’m being pushed away. And that, in turn, makes me feel like I’m being a selfish person. I keep telling myself: “this isn’t about you.”
For the last week, I have been able to talk about it with family members who have called to check in, without shedding a tear. I keep thinking it is wrong to not cry or feel sad during every single waking moment. When I catch myself not thinking about it, I quietly scold myself. As if I should be punishing myself for having a moment without this exhaustive sadness. I know deep down… that’s no way to live.
I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been all-consuming. Thankfully, I can throw my energy into working or writing. I haven’t really done that yet, because I took the last two weeks off. I go back on Monday. So, instead, I’ve just been dissociating with Animal Crossing. Watching TV and movies with my husband. Sleeping in. There are worse things, I suppose.
There is a deep, searing pain that pierces your soul when you learn you may lose someone so important to you, much sooner than you ever thought possible. Especially when the relationship hasn’t always been filled with bright sunny days.
I can’t take the sunny days for granted, not anymore.
I might be hit or miss for a bit around here. I might share more about this, but I might not. I might try to just continue forth with the other writing I have planned. We’ll see what happens. Thank you for reading. 🖤
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