…everything’s tinged with a miasma of suck.

…everything’s tinged with a miasma of suck.

Goodnight BalloonLet’s see if I can do this. Talk about how I’m really doing. [If you didn’t know, my Dad, Walter Marshall Maheux, died on March 24th, a little over a month after we found out he had stage 4 lung cancer.]

I mentioned in the most recent Bureau of Awesome Podcast that I was cheerfully depressed.

I’m functioning. I’m going to work. I’m doing side projects. I’m keeping busy. I laugh at jokes. I smile. I feel happy. I find things beautiful. But as I said on twitter today, everything’s tinged with a miasma of suck.

I drive to and from work on I-95: Westbrook to Kennebunk, Kennebunk to Westbrook every day. It’s spring and the green forest on either side of the highway is very vibrant green. And on a sunny day, the blue of the sky is bluer than blue, and the combination takes my breath away. That is so beautiful, I think. And then I’m crying, because how can anything be beautiful any more?

When Dad died it felt like someone or something sucked the light out of the world. How can life be fun without him, I thought?

So I pretend I didn’t think that.

It’s easy.

I just push it to the back of my head. But it’s really still there. Sending out suck-waves everywhere.

On his blog, blurbomat.com, Jon Armstrong talks about his experience when his father died:

I was talking about grief with my family over the holiday weekend and I was struck by the time it took me to feel normal after my dad died. I figure it was around 3 years.


Balloon at Westbrook Together DaysTonight Mom and I went to the Westbrook together days. They have live music, a carnival, lots of vendors from local businesses and non-profits. Edmund and I live very close to the park, so I picked up Mom, parked at our house and we walked over with our camp chairs.

I bought some fried dough and a soda. Mom helped me eat it.

As we sat there listening to the Bob Charest Band cover Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Gnarls Barkley, I remembered that last year it was me, Mom and Dad hanging out at Westbrook Together Days. They drove over separately, and parked near our house and we all walked over together. In fact, I took a picture of my parents that day, from which I cropped out my Mom (with her permission), that I’ve used several times when talking about Dad in this blag. Here it is in its entirety:
Dad and Mom, Westbrook Together Days 2011Last year my parents got up to dance a couple of times. This year Mom and I did some chair dancing. Without Dad there to drag one of us (Mom) to the dance floor, we weren’t going.

Without Dad.

I haven’t had a melt-down yet. Will I have one? I’m not sure. Maybe I should have one. Every time I start getting really worked up, I stamp that shit down.

Yet. Life has lost some of its awesome. Or said awesome is obscured by a funk cloud the size of Texas.

So yes. I’m doing okay. Because to do otherwise would be paralyzing.

Just wait until I accept I’ll never see him again.

Check back in three years, why don’t ya.

  • http://twitter.com/bethanybob BethanyBob

    Lady, I feel for ya. How do we move on? What are we supposed to do now that our dads are gone? “Nothing’s changed, yet nothing seems the same.” And what’s worse is that the people around me (at least) haven’t been affected as deeply, so they look at me like, “Wtf are you still sad? Cheer up! What’s wrong with you?!” And I want to slap them and say, “FUCK OFF.” But I don’t.

    … What are we going to do? They say the “year of firsts” is the hardest. My chiropractor says to give myself six months to a year to fully grieve and adjust. I don’t see how even three years will be enough time.

  • Guest

    It sucks big time to lose a loved one. I lost my grandparents well over 20 years ago now, and I still miss them both terribly. I have never visited their gravesite. The pain will never go away, you will always miss him, but with time it will get easier.
    Give yourself that time you need to heal. It might take 6 months, a year, 3, or even longer. Remember the good times, laugh when you need to, cry when you need to. Its ok to grieve.

  • lannalee


  • lannalee

    I am lucky in that most of the people around me get it. Get why I might get sad once in a while. For those that don’t get it, I gently remind them. Or not so gently, depending how I am feeling 😉

    Pretty much accepted that holidays for the next year are going to suck. Coming up, my birthday, which happens 2 days before Father’s day and 4 days after my parent’s wedding anniversary. Whoopie.

    Mom and I talked about getting some scratch tickets in Dad’s honor for Father’s day. That might be fun. 😉

    Hang in there, Bethany. I can’t say it’ll get better soon, but I’m sure it must. I am buoyed by the knowledge that I know my Dad would want me to be happy and get on with it. Easier said than done.

  • sophie harris

    that is a beautiful pic of your dad and mom.

    sometimes it is good to give in to the grief and cleanse yourself. You know your dad loved you and would want you to be happy. You will never forget him, but I am sure you have some beautiful memories. Live with those until you meet him again.
    and you will. Prayers are with you and your family. Take car

  • http://twitter.com/BeckyCochrane BeckyCochrane

    Someone told me, and I’ve repeated it more times than I want to remember, including to myself: There is no timetable for grief. Only yours, in your time, in your way. Yes, you’ll probably have that meltdown. Maybe more than one.

    There have been deaths that made me think I’ll never know joy again. I was wrong. Among the things truly fantastic parents give us are the ability to heal, eventually, and to feel all the things that enrich our lives–taught to us by them–including joy and laughter.

    I wish you much comfort and healing.