Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Don't Know What to Say

Almost three weeks has gone by since dad's accident.

People ask me how I'm doing. I don't know what to say. I'm fine? (flat out lie)  As good as can be expected? (how is one expected to be?) I'm functioning, but feel like I'm walking through a haze? (partly true.)  I'm completely overwhelmed at every turn? (now we are getting closer to the truth of it.)

I'm overwhelmed by all the people.
There were people at calling hours whom mom and I had never met. The funeral was packed with family and family friends, many whom I haven't seen in years. Many of whom drove hours to come, and had to turn right back around and leave after the funeral. Neighbors and people from business' dad frequented came. The UPS man that used to have our route even came. Hundreds of people, on a week day, came to say good bye to dad.

People have watched the kids, help fix things, taken care of animals, planned farm work days, made us meals, brought us groceries, stocked my freezer, given us money, prayed, hugged, and shared fond memories. I am pretty sure there have been more people here in the last three weeks than there have been in the entire five years that we have lived here. I could count on one hand the number of days no one has come for a visit and there were many days I couldn't count on both hands how many people did come to visit.

I'm overwhelmed by all the people. Sometimes I think I may hide if one more car drives into the driveway, but I don't like it when no one is here either. Doesn't make sense does it? Having people around keeps me busy. It keeps my mind occupied. It often gives me a chance to think and talk about something else besides dad's death and the after shocks of it.

When there is no one here I feel like I'm walking through a haze. I do get some things done, but I have mommy disorder times 1000. I can't seem to complete any task on the first try. I come back to find something half done hours after it was begun. My brain is clicking at about half speed, and I can't remember anything lately. We have spent countless hours in front of mindless entertainment these past weeks, and none of it has been enjoyable. I'm not even close to fully functioning yet.

I'm overwhelmed by all the things that need done.
Even before this happened I was feeling a lot of pressure from the amount of things on my plate. I was feeling the need to downsize and focus on the things that are most important to our family. I was feeling I had too much going on, and really wasn't able to give my best to anything. I hadn't exactly figured out to how to fix that, but the pressure to downsize was already there.

My dad was the main farmer here. He put in a full work week and then some on the farm. There is no way we can keep up with all that he did. We know that, and we have plans to downsize some things and eliminate others. The problem is none of that is done instantly. Almost everything has several things that need done first before we get to the goal. There are things that need fixed and sold,  animals grown, weaned, sold, and processed, and things that just need arranged. In the meantime, everything that normally goes on here needs done and maintained and projects that were started need finished. Trying to get all that done under the time crunch of Tim's busy season of work (which is already starting,) school season (and the activities that go with it,) and the coming winter months (which add increased responsibilities for animal care) while Tim and mom work full time, and I work part time is just overwhelming. 

People have been very generous with offering their time, and we will be taking them up on the offers. August 7th there is a work day planned here, and we have lots of work to do. But even trying to get a list of projects together is a little mind boggling for me right now.

I'm overwhelmed by the emotion.
I'm not generally an emotional person. I often do not really know how to handle highly emotional things. I've certainly done my share of crying these past weeks, but mostly I'm just numb.

So, how am I? I don't know what to say.


  1. Our prayers are with you...

  2. Hugs and prayers to you and your loved ones - may you find peace and strength...

  3. Gail Patton7/29/10, 1:13 PM

    I think you said it very well!

    I found this when I was greiving...
    Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you, smashes down upon you with unimaginable force, sweeps you up into its darkness, where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces, only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped... Grief will make a new person out of you, if it doesn't kill you in the making.
    Stephanie Ericsson

  4. You have my thoughts and prayers. If I were any closer to West Virginia (I'm in Michigan), I would be right there helping even though we don't know each other. I'm so glad you have a huge support system in place. (((hugs)))

  5. Sounds like you know just how you feel! Don't feel any pressure to explain it to the rest of us, just keep on your journey through this.

    Since I too am in Michigan and can't come and help, I'll just keep praying!

    On another note, how cool is it that you have at least 2 people in Kalamazoo reading your blog? Amazing how many far-flung connections you've formed :-)

  6. Thanks for your support everyone. And if you haven't noticed I can write what I feel much better than I can ever say it. :)

    And Sarah, yes, it is a little crazy the connections that are made via social media. I like it!

  7. I understand the shock and numbness. Keeping busy and then before you know it a year will have passed and you will sit and reflect. I lost my mom when I was 15. She was such an important part of our entire family. The heart that kept us connected. Your dad touched so many lives and his legacy lives on with the kind words and deeds. If I could offer one bit of advice. Write him a letter. Tell him how you are and what's new. Tell him about all the wonderful people that have come by.
    It can help you keep in touch with your feelings and a reminder of the wonderful folks he has touched through the years.
    Just a thought. My prayers are with you and your family.

  8. Just caught up with this and wanted say I was touched by the verse you mention. So sorry to hear about your Dad.

  9. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article.
    German Translator.

  10. Stephanie, allow your self to grieve. Let the feelings wash over you, or allow the times of numbness. It's needed for healing. Everyone grieves differently. If you can get someone to help you plan, accept the help for now. May God grant you peace. Take it easy.