Hi everyone. I know I’ve been MIA. I’ve been so on purpose. I also know my domain expired. I let it on purpose. Truthfully I’m just not driven to write about my life anymore. I want to keep my life safe and secret and just for me and those closest to me. Although sharing throughout my separation and divorce was extremely therapeutic, sharing since my divorce has felt almost like a chore. I can’t promise I’ll keep writing or if I do, how often, but I think I’m finally ready to talk about something.
One of my greatest fears about living Saudi Arabia has always been something happening to one of my parents. I’m so far, it’s so hard to get home. What would I do if one of them was sick, on their death bed, or needing long-term care and I can’t get there? I thought this was something I wouldn’t have to face for at least the next 20 years. I was wrong.
Friday June 10th, just before sitting down to break fast with my best friend and our kids, my mom called to tell me the devastating news that my father had passed away in his sleep. My mind raced. I didn’t believe it. He wasn’t sick. I’d just talked to him. I’d planned to call him that night. I collapsed to the floor. My hands and body shook uncontrollably. I messaged my dad because I just couldn’t process it. My dad?! I sobbed into my best friend’s shoulder. I called my step mom and listened to her scream and sob incoherently. I pulled myself together to tell my daughter. She screamed. Neither of us ate much for breakfast that day. I didn’t eat much for days. Plans were made and money was borrowed and tickets were bought for a trip home that I swore I wasn’t taking this year for a reason I could have never imagined.
Walking into my dad’s house without him being there was overwhelming but for the next nine days I made it my mission to hold myself together for everyone else around me, especially my dear step mother. I’d lost my father, but she’d lost her husband, a loss that must be impossible to bounce back from, so I was determined to catch her as she fell as best as I could.
Everything from that week and a half now feels like a blur. Friends were there and I can’t even remember what conversations I had with them. So many people came to the viewing and funeral. I must have received hundreds of hugs from people I don’t know. It still doesn’t feel real. I always thought the concept of denial in death was ridiculous. How could someone deny a death? It’s obvious and real and there’s no denying it. But now I realize that denial isn’t a choice. It’s so difficult for my brain to process. One night I made a huge pot of spaghetti and homemade sauce for the dozen or so people gathered at my dad’s place and before I could eat I thought I need to make my dad a plate and set it aside for him. I even said it out loud. It sounds ridiculous, but I still keep thinking of things I need to tell my dad. I’m not sure that feeling will ever stop and I’m ok with that.
There’s so much more I wanted my dad to be around for, but your time is your time and my family and I have experienced the brutal reality of life’s unexpectedly short nature. His death has motivated me to take a serious inventory of my life and my choices. My heart is sad that he is gone, but I refuse to live a sad life. I know he wouldn’t want that for me, especially since my life has been otherwise amazing and he was so happy for me. So I’m still choosing happiness and to enjoy life and to be a good person as long as I’m still around.