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It’s hard to believe . . . 

I’m having a difficult time accepting my new reality; that my dad will never hug me again, tease me, or walk into my little house. I’m back in Portland and trying to wrap my head around my new world. It isn’t easy.

I had a feeling that my dad would die before the end of the summer. But I was hanging onto hope. I hoped that he would recover from Parkinson’s disease and two strokes. It so hard to believe that it’s been ten days since he died. It’s hard to believe that my mom and I sat with my dad as his body slowly shut down early Sunday morning.

It’s hard to believe that we sat in a funeral home last week and picked out a blue coffin with birds on it. It’s hard to believe that I stood in front of 100 people and read an open letter to him, as my eulogy. It’s hard to believe that we buried him last weekend.

It’s hard to believe that we’ll be moving soon. I’m going to miss Portland and our friends, but we need to be closer to family. I need to be closer to my mom. Other than Logan, she is the only person I talk to every single day. I want to spend more quality time with her; time walking, swimming, and just sitting by the pool.

Even though I miss my dad, I know that he’s in a better place and have a feeling he’d want a few things from me. First, he would want my mom and I to help each other through this time period. Second, he would want me to keep writing, to take care of myself, and to keep living. So I’m easing back into my writing routine, resting, and trying to focus on all the good things that are happening in my life, like my upcoming ecourse, Logan, and my wonderful friendships.

Be well,
Tammy

P.S. Thank you for all the sweet emails and comments. Your kind words helped me get through the last week.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alannah June 20, 2012, 8:34 am

    Sending much love & good thoughts to you & your family. <3

  • Amelia June 20, 2012, 9:24 am

    It will be five years in September and still to this day I find it hard to believe that my best friend is gone and that I won’t ever be able to see her again or laugh with her again. It feels like she is just on vacation and I will see her again soon… it is such a hard thing losing someone you love and are so close to. And definitely after they are gone it makes you re-assess all your priorities and makes you realize that things need to change. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to have the opportunity to say goodbye to her or really get any closer before she passed. By the time I got to Maine to be with her she was in a coma-like state and she took her last breath a few days later. After she passed, I immediately decided that as soon as I graduated college I would return to Maine to be closer to family. I knew then that being in Arizona was not for me because I didn’t want to be far from those that I loved. I didn’t want to miss out on spending quality time with everyone and regretting the time I missed (because I still regret not being there for her as I wish I could have been). I will forever love and miss her, but always remember that she is in a better place. She is no longer in pain and I know she is always close to me, especially when I see a butterfly fly by – it instantly puts a smile on my face.

    I love and miss you guys a lot, and wish we could spend more time together. I hate that we are so far and would love to get together sometime soon! Stay strong as I know you both will – I am keeping you, Aunt Kathy, and Uncle Mahlon in my thoughts and prayers as always. He will be greatly missed, but I know he will always be watching over you and will send you little messages (like Taysia does for me) to remind you that he is always with you. I love you lots!

  • Sherry June 20, 2012, 9:54 am

    I just teared up after reading your post, but in a good way. I felt the loving energy you felt for your dad and how he is sending his loving energy back to you.

  • Summer June 20, 2012, 9:56 am

    Tammy(an your mom,too!)
    This is an incredibly and outrageously difficult time in your life. I do not know how you feel although I have been through an almost identical experience about 4 months ago. There will be moments that you remember so fondly and will comfort you through this difficult time. Embrace those. There will be times when your heart feels almost drunk with the excruciating pain that is involved with the loss of someone so dear. Press into that and feel it. It means you have loved a great deal and that person mattered so much! (And you mattered and were loved by them.) You and your mother will be going through a lot of emotions and changes. Just be there for your mom…she will need your friendship more than ever and you hers.
    Blessings and love to you and your family.

  • Patty Peterson June 20, 2012, 10:30 am

    Tammy,
    It’s nice to have you back… I’ve missed you. I’m glad you are moving closer to your mom… it will be good for your both. And good that you are getting back into the writing routine. Routine is good, I think. So is laughter… and I hope in the days to come you are able to find the laughter again…
    Best – Patty

  • s.e. June 20, 2012, 10:36 am

    It’s been almost 1 month since my dad died, I understand completely and am engaged in that same struggle. We are not facing a move but instead trying to find my mom a better place for her to live. Fortunately my second son and his fiancee are moving into my mom’s house (that is almost as hard for me to write as it is to say out loud) in the fall. We might be moving soon too.

  • Susanna June 20, 2012, 10:57 am

    Our parents love us so much, more than anything. Focus on this love and focus on you and your mom healing together. Although it will be so difficult, my husband told me that it will take work to try and be happy again. But focus on your happiness for you and your mom. In time, do things you enjoy, laugh, spend time with good friends, see new things, eat cupcakes, love cats, for me, my cat saved my life, with his funny and sweet personality. Focus on this and you will soon begin to feel your dad,s love all around you, and he will strengthen you and your mom. He would want you to be happy healthy and safe. We will all meet again, it is why we found such true beautiful love on earth, it was meant to be. You are a super talented writer, photographer, and inspiration to so many, may all of the love of your blog readers follow you.

  • Jesse June 20, 2012, 1:48 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve posted here before, but I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for your loss. Take any time you need – we’ll be here waiting for when you’re ready again. Focus on healing (as much as one can), and take the time to just BE.

  • Annie June 20, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Tammy i am at a loss of what to say that could possibly be comforting. Sometimes it’s just enough to be held in silence, to have Logan and your Mom walking beside you as your head and heart journey through this hard time of acceptance. We send our love too, thinking of you, wishing you well, as you put one foot in front of the other.

  • Natalie June 20, 2012, 2:53 pm

    I feel like even through tragic events in life, they often lead us somewhere else we need to be. Maybe like how you need to be close to your mom now. Maybe your dad opened that door for you that otherwise you didn’t know you needed to be opened. I hope that guys can grow closer and find strength in each other. I’ve been able to grow closer to my family in the last few years as an adult, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • SimmEcats June 20, 2012, 4:50 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog these past couple of years. Welcome to the Year Of Magical Thinking. I am so sorry for your painful, monumental loss.

  • Gene Jennings June 20, 2012, 8:44 pm

    I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you a lot lately.

  • Caitlin June 21, 2012, 12:05 pm

    Hi Tammy,

    I have been reading your blog for some time now, and I always find it inspirational and uplifting. I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. I lost my Dad a little over a year and a half ago, and that feeling of disbelief has still not waned. You are fortunate to have the right priorities in life, and through focusing on those, healing will be possible. May you find peace and solace.

  • Gary Hammond June 21, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Dear Tammy,

    I am saddened by your lose. I lost my Dad two years ago and I miss him terribly still. It was like being pulled up by the roots! There really are no words to sufficiently describe the pain of losing our heroes. You’ve got it right though – Keep writing, keep family close, and never forget the most beautiful things about your Dad. May his hand guide yours in providing more writings for us all to enjoy and be enriched by daily.

  • Aime Lopez June 21, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Tammita (Little Tammy in Spanish):

    I really admire your strenght to come back to writing!!!, it is very VERY hard to write in this moment of your life, but at the same time is very therapeutic for you to release all your pain and your sorrow through the notepad and then you start to feel the aaaahhhhhhh like a big weight came out of your body… We are here with you, with all our love and support and wish you the best to keep going and smile again… your book is coming out soon, so you have to be motivated again, big things are coming for you!! I can see it !!!!

    I was thinking (and dreaming) that maybe your Mom should get a tiny house too!! is just an idea or a dream 🙂 … now that she will be living by herself and Henry, wouldn´t be fun to get again the BIG adventure of getting another Tiny House from the lovely PAD Team? and you wouldn´t need to move too far from where you love to live… you could be together… I don´t know.. call me crazy.. but for me it would be very fun and lovely to see you writing again about another tiny house 😉 and now for Mommy Cat 😉 I´m crazy, I know… ok, at least I hope I make you smile a little… 🙂

    Best wishes and Peace from my lovely México:

    Aimé.

    • Tammy Strobel June 22, 2012, 7:42 am

      You are sweet and your comment made me smile. I don’t think my mama is ready to move into a little house. For now, she’ll stay in her big abode. However, she’s starting to think about downsizing. You never know. 🙂

      Thanks for the sweet comment.

  • Anonymous June 27, 2012, 8:08 am

    So sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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