Turning the page

It’s been three weeks since my dad passed away, four weeks since we got the call that “we should come now”. I’ve sat down to reflect on the past few weeks a number of times, only to be met with the flashing curser, and eventually giving up. I thought about taking a break from writing and putting the blog on hold because it felt all wrong, but I know writing helps me process my feelings so here goes…

I never imagined it would be this hard. We had two full years to prepare and get ready for him to be gone, but still, when the day actually came, I was SO unprepared. I had no idea how large the hole in my heart would be and how little there is that I can do to patch it up.

People ask how I’m doing, how I’m holding up. The truthful answer is there are good days and bad. In fact, some days every single hour is different. It’s really hard to go on with life, make plans and be strong. Some days it feels like it would be easier to curl up in a ball and hide for the rest of eternity. I know that’s not realistic, so I’m making it work.

It is still so surreal to me that he’s actually gone. It’s like I’m half in denial and half forcing myself to accept the reality.

Loss of this magnitude has been all encompassing for me. My thoughts are constantly drifting to my dad and his absence.

I find myself missing different versions of my dad a lot, which is a unique spin on what I thought it would be like. I get into situations and think of how he would react and what he would do to contribute. For example, it’s been somewhat nice out this week and Dane loves to play outside, as most 2 year olds do. I find myself imagining how healthy-dad would have SO loved to run around the yard with our wild boy, kicking the soccer ball and laughing. I also think about sick-dad and the joy he would have had in his eyes watching from the patio. Both make me happy and both make me sad.

Maybe the hardest part of it all is the fact that we have to keep living. The day-to-day routine goes back to normal (for the most part), I’ve gone back to work and am feeling the pressures of the other parts of my life again. Finding the strength to get my shit together while it’s all still a mess around me has been a struggle. The house is a mess; I’ve been slacking on my responsibilities with my other professional commitments but slowly I’m getting back in the game.

We’ve been ticking things off of the list of to-dos in the wake of his loss. Seemingly stupid little things like canceling his cell phone have caused near panic attacks. Sometimes I get stuck on a memory and my eyes fill with tears and there is no stopping it. I know it’s okay to be sad, so I’m letting myself process the way it feels right for me to process.

The biggest source of comfort I’ve found is the incredible amount of love that has been poured out from our network of friends and family. All I can really say is wow – you people are true life-savers. I’ve not been the best at getting back to messages or texts because frankly, it’s hard to talk about it but they do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. To each person who’s made an effort to comfort any of us in this really low valley – thank you. We’ll make it through I know; day-by-day. Spring is here and so is a fresh season of life. For me – it’s a new chapter that I have to write without a main character but it’s okay because I know he has a bigger part in the story than ever before.


I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend. It was one of dad’s favorites and he will be sorely missed but it won’t stop us from remembering the good times together as a family.

Posted by

Wisconsin wife and mama to Dane (4) and expecting baby girl in May. Navigating life post-cancer. Lover of food, red wine and laughs. Forever grateful for my wonderful life.

8 thoughts on “Turning the page

  1. What a great article and tribute to your dad Martha….it is very hard to recover from such a loss…I can tell you I think of my dad every day and he has been gone a number of years, but I still miss him……know that my heart is with you…take care and God Bless….Barb Szopinski

    I do also miss Ed, a great friend….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so powerful, raw and beautiful, Martha. I think some day you should write a whole book based on your family’s amazing main character. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These sweet words about your dear father are beautiful, Martha. I am deeply sad for you, your father and your entire family. May peace fill your hearts and your lives and may you all find happiness, once again. Sending love. ❤➕🙏🏻⚘

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m kind of behind the times, but stumbled across this post, and find it amazing how much your words speak to exactly how I feel, still today, and Monday will mark the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing….you are an incredible writer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and beautiful words. Keep being you….

    Liked by 1 person

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