The last couple of days have been difficult. Yesterday a fellow traveler in recovery died, and today I found out that my father has passed away. One of these deaths took me by surprise and had me thinking about my own mortality; the other has just left me feeling numb. Once these events would have seen me running to the bottle for solace; recovery though means having to sit with these feelings. The worst thing is that I don’t really knowing how to feel.
My father had a massive heart attack two years ago and during the episode he suffered significant brain damage. He was only sixty and had lots of things to look forward to. When he was in ICU we were told that he wasn’t going to make it but somehow he pulled through. He was never the same though; his personality died. I went to visit him in Ireland the last time I was home and it was just so painful to see him the way he was; it would not have been something that he ever wanted. It is difficult grieving the loss of somebody when they are still here with us – it’s like being stuck in limbo.
I don’t know how I feel about my father’s death; he was such an important part of my life. I have to remind myself though that there is no right way that I should feel. It is easy to forget that death is around us all the time, and everyone we have ever loved will be lost to us – at least for a time. Being sober means having to deal with these things and keep on living and doing our best. Maybe there will be some grief because of what has happened, but I know that I don’t need to get drunk because of it.