Bless him, my dad is still hanging onto his sobriety. Alone. He's not in any kind of program or treatment. But he's very much into Entenmann's chocolate loaf cake, Lay's, and diet Coke.
I had to tell him this morning that the funeral director is coming by his house on Saturday with my mom's ashes in an urn.
He's been waiting for this, but hearing it's actually going to happen on a real calendar date was upsetting. Me saying the word to tell him was upsetting. Upsetting him is upsetting.
He says he's going to put her urn on the wine bar (a huge, monstrous marble and wrought iron cabinet that looks like the Godfather movies threw up in the hallway) so he can talk to her every day when he walks by. He's been planning this since she was alive, but the reality of it actually happening in a couple of days was too much for him and he cried into the phone with me.
One of my mom's friends offered to come by and take my mom's clothes out of the house for him and he didn't realize that he was allowed to tell her no, and say he wasn't ready. I told him that it's completely natural for him to want to wait, and that her friend would 100% understand and respect this.
He cancelled his doctor appointment, and hasn't really been out of the house because the thought of talking to anyone who might ask about my mom is too much for him to bear to have to explain. I told him that's totally fine too.
He said that he's only sleeping a couple of hours a night and that his eyes and face hurt from crying.
I had to explain grief to him as if he were a child. He's 84. I said, "a horrible thing has happened to you and it's OK to cry and be upset as long as you want to".
You are normal, you old weirdo.
I told him that grief is natural and no one expects you to carry on like nothing happened. Well, I screamed all of this into the phone because the man has significant hearing loss, and I had to scream it all twice because he also has dementia.
Today I decided is the day that I'm going to make all of the calls I have to make, like telling their bank and the cable company that she is dead. I'm going to have to call the oxygen company and ask them to come and pick up all of the hoses, tanks and equipment that are tucked around all over their house. Stuff like that. I have a headache thinking about it, and looking at the UPS envelope I got in the mail the other day from the funeral home that has all of the copies of her death certificate that I ordered.
Anyhoo... I'm sad to have to do all of these things and the idea of having to be in charge of so much of my dad's life is terrifying, especially long distance.