I can not get my head on straight this morning. It’s a morning of sadness, anger and fear. It’s a morning of mourning. Hell, it’s been a year of mourning. And I am ready for it to be done.

We’re coming up on the one-year death date for my dad. On December 17th it will have been one year since he died. My psychiatrist says I haven’t dealt with it yet. She’s probably right. I am still sad. Sad and hurting. I feel his loss all the way to my bones some days. Today is one of those days. At least I’ve started seeing the “old” him in the photo reel in the back of my mind. The dad that wore puffy vests with short sleeves. The dad who stole my cigarettes every time he walked by; smoking my last one without an ounce of guilt or remorse. The dad that I spent my mornings with, before work, watching the news and chatting about what I had on my plate for the day.

At the same time I’m angry; furious this morning. We found out in July that my brother died in June of an overdose of methamphetamine. He was 52 years old. Too old to be a junkie. We hadn’t spoken in approximately seven years. I’m still angry (and guilt-ridden) about that. I’m angry that he isn’t here right now, in my time of need. I’m angry he didn’t let me help him (not that I could’ve). I’m furious that he was never there in the first place. I’m angry that he was angry with me. It’s a stage of grief. I know this. I’ve seen it, counseled other on it, been through it before. I can’t wait to move through the rest of the stages and move on from the pain of the anger.

Fear. This is hard one for me. I have fought hard to not live my life in a state of fear. Today I’m struggling. Hell, I’ve been struggling with this for the past year. Recent events has amplified this feeling to the point of paranoia. My daughter broke up with her long-time boyfriend this past weekend. That, in and off itself, is a God-send. It became even more so as the details of their relationship started to come to light. Starting the day after their split he started harassing her. Calling incessantly. Sending her FB messages. Calling her things like fat bitch, stupid cunt and worse. He showed up at our house and walked in without permission. He pushed her and stole her dog. She had to take out a restraining order against him. The process of applying for a restraining order requires complete transparency. Upon reading her application we learned that she has been hit, choked, pushed against walls and to the floor, dragged around by her hair. She was threatened with a firearm. He left choke marks and bruises. He broke her spirit. It’s devastating to think that I allowed the piece of shit to come in to our home. The guilt is overwhelming. The fear is almost paralyzing. The fear for her life and well-being. The fear that she’s been broken beyond repair. The fear that she’s trapped in a cycle and will allow herself to go through it all again… with him or another.

I mourn the loss of her innocence just as I’m mourning the loss of a brother and a father. I’m mourning the peace and stability and honesty that used to envelope our family. I’m mourning the person I thought I was before this year happened.

When does the mourning end?

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