Let’s face it, these last few months have been rough…in fact, since April 12th I have been living under a blanket of fear and sadness. Fear he would die, fear of what a recovery could be like, fear of my life changing, fear of you and all you would go through with whatever happened. Sadness that his summer was ruined, that your life had changed so much while he was in the hospital. Fear he could not come home, and sadness when I realized he never would. Fear of how to make it without him, and sadness when we finally had to trudge forward after his death.
Through all of it, I have supported you unconditionally, never hesitating in how my life would change with his illness, the announcement of hospice, and then his death. You have been my first thought always as I neglected myself and just about everything around me to care for you…sometimes just to worry about you – even when you were fine.
You were pissed, angry and upset with all that was going on, and that was understandable. You are too young, as was he, to go through any of this. It is not lost on me that you were stuck with bad cop – the stricter parent. I know he was your buddy and that void must be heartbreaking for you to even think about acknowledging let alone begin to explore it. But I’m doing everything I can, and I’m going to now demand your A-Game – afterall, I deserve it.
- Flush the toilet
- Make your bed
- Clean your room
- Engage at the dinner table (don’t just stare into space).
- Do your chores.
- Mind your manners
- Show kindness to others when they try to help you through
- Look for the good in our home
- Say good morning and hello
- Say thank you
Above all, it is what your father would have wanted. He would want you to bring your A-Game to our home, to represent him in the best possible way. He would want you to remain somewhat together, neat, and to realize that this situation is not perfect for anyone. He would want you to appreciate that while this impacts you the most there are others who have adjusted around you.
We have heard horror stories of other teens who have gone through exactly what you have experienced…and they have not handled it with the grace and success we expect of you. They go off the rails turning to others and substances to ease the pain and heal the void. But the void you feel from his loss is so big that there is nothing that could fill it and I will not allow you to dishonor him by trying . So as you move forward fill the loss with your own success and happiness. Nothing can dumb or dull the pain of his absence.