Welcome to “The Club”

Welcome to “The Club”

I’m coming up on a tough week. Tomorrow, Monday June 11th, would have been my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary. Friday, June 15th, is my birthday. And Sunday, June 17th is Father’s Day.

If this is your first time here, my Dad, Walter Maheux, passed away this spring. So to be hit with three “firsts” in one week is a bit daunting. And it brings me back to a private Facebook message my friend Bill Cook sent me a few days after my Dad died. Welcoming me to “The Club”.

Here it is in it’s entirety:

Hey Lanna,
I was just reading through your blog about your dad and crying and smiling.
I lost my dad October 27th, 2001.
He officially passed from complications with diabetes, but he’d slipped away to Alzheimer’s years prior.
When he was sick, everyone had advice, but one friend…who’d lost her Mom & Dad already…said you never “get it” until you’ve experienced the death of a parent.
She was right.

Welcome to “The Club”.

My unsolicited advice?
Never expect a “right way” for anything to unfold in your grieving.
Your writings for “The Last Picture Show” hit home on so many levels.
Talking about thinking there would be more time…
The last time I saw my dad was in The Barron Center. I’d visited, and he’d had a good day. “Can we go to “The Deli” (The Full Belly Deli)?”, he asked?
“Next time”, I said… thinking there would be. He passed 2 days later.

Next “The Firsts”. Those were hard. Especially with my family. He died in October, and that Thanksgiving there was a big elephant in the room that everyone tip-toed around, until I said, “Remember when Dad would…?” or “Remember that time that Dad…?”
Talk about him.
Include him.
I have a feeling that won’t be a problem with your family.

And finally, “I don’t see this getting better for a long time.”
It doesn’t.
It just gets different.
At least for me.
The images of him sick get replaced by images of him healthy.
The wishing you could talk to him gets replaced with the knowledge that , well, you can.
The missing him though? That doesn’t change.
Honestly, not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.
Some days are better than others, even after 10+ years. And even now, there are some times I have a melt down.
I’d like to think that the more you love someone, the more it hurts when they leave.
So Cry.
Get Mad!
Curl up in bed.
Feel justified thinking, “DON’T YOU PEOPLE KNOW MY DAD HAS DIED?!?!?! F*CK YOU ALL!!!!!”

It’s a sobering thing, the death of a parent.
And life changing.

But I think the humor and love in your family will help out a lot.
And I think I know where you got both.
If you ever want to talk to a fellow club member, let me know.
xo

I asked Bill if I could share his message on my blag because it came to me just at the right moment. It’s a club that nobody wants to be in, but whenever I’m feeling down I think of The Club and know that I’m not alone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rurugby Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn

    Beautiful post, and amazing message by Bill Cook. Feel very lucky that I am not part of “the club”. With my dad’s brain cancer it’s a miracle. Every day.