So, I have been avoiding writing both the post and going to this grief group for almost 15 months now.
Because, you see, I've moved on. I'm pretty happy as far as life goes. I miss my Dad, yes. Every single day I miss him but it doesn't overwhelm me daily anymore. I can talk about him without crying. I can remember funny stories or mention him in an off-handed way and not pause to catch my breath. So, I thought I was ready. I thought now was the time to go.
I went to a caregiver support group for the entire 2.5 years he was ill and I was taking care of him (and my mom, let's be real). And I continued with individual therapy in the 15 months since. But I ran into a social worker from my caregiver group last week and she encouraged me to try this grief group. "It's small and the people in it are good at expressing emotions. You might feel a bit of release around them," she said.
And now, as I am sitting here wiping tears from my eyes 3 hours after I've gotten home.... I just, I didn't need this. I had buried my emotions. I had done what my mom and my brother have done. I rage against them for it: the burying of emotions, the never cracking the facade. And yet there I was wracked with sobs listening to people who had much more recently lost someone speak so openly and honestly and tearfully about their process. I felt like a fraud and a liar.
I haven't moved on. I am still sad. I don't think I'll ever get there. And now the derisive and nasty shit I have thought about my mom and my brother for stuffing their pain down, now I am guilty of it too.