I had grand plans for today - sort of. I was going to declutter the kitchen, but that hasn't happened yet. I was going to get to those long, long, long, etc. overdue emails that I owe people. That hasn't happened either. Where HAS my morning gone? Well, I've been reading all the updates on your blogs...um....okay, so I need a little motivation...
I DID however, do something I've never done before - write a letter to someone as the result of a TV show. I've discovered "Undercover Boss" (anyone?) and love it. The inaugural Canadian one was on the other night - the CEO of the Toronto Zoo, John Taragno, got to go undercover and clean gorilla poo! And penguin poo! And human poo! What a trooper. Anyhow, I was so moved by the custodian he worked with that I wrote a letter to Mr. Taragno. I hope he doesn't think I'm a total wingnut.
I have very fond memories of visiting the Zoo when I was growing up, and the show aired almost exactly 31 years to the date of my dad's death, in 1981. Mr. Taragno had recently lost his own dad and I must have got something in my eyes because they were tearing up at one point. The utterly, utterly lovely custodian had lost one of her daughters and she and her husband wrote letters to her to help them deal with their grief. She had written a beautiful letter to Mr. Taragno's undercover persona "Jim" to suggest that he do the same to help him with his grief about his dad. I have been struggling for a way to connect with my dad and as soon as she explained what she did, I knew that was what I had to do, too. She was Amazing.
I don't believe in coincidences, so I made up my mind right then and there that I would write a letter to let him know how much the show meant to me. My goal is to now spend a day at the Zoo when I'm there in July, and I will do what I can to make that happen. I have loose plans to spend my only full day in Toronto with a friend I haven't seen in 15 years and I'm going to suggest that she & I spend a day at the Zoo. I think she'd be okay with this.
Now I just don't really feel like doing anything else. I'll make a point of going through my kitchen and putting some things on the table where I'm collecting my items for sale/donation/disposal, but I feel a little bit drained to be honest. Coming to terms with the fact that I have feelings and it's okay to actually FEEL them (bad, sad, happy, angry, whatever) after 44 years of repressing them is a big deal. And a lot harder than I thought. I've only just made the connection, for example, that the reason I'm not a happy person is the fact that I haven't completely dealt with my dad's death so long ago. I was a happy kid, but then my dad died and we were left with my mum, who really couldn't cope and fun literally disappeared from my life, replaced with shame, guilt and condemnation. It's embarrassing and a bit shameful when people ask what I do for fun, and I don't really have an answer. Because I don't have fun. The depression I've been in and out of for the past 30 years stems from the fact that I wasn't allowed to grieve for my dad when I was a kid - everything else has just built it up, obscuring that fact and adding layers of untruths, repressed feelings and beliefs to it.
I'm just so afraid that if I start grieving (aka, crying) I won't be able to stop. I just don't know what to do with all that rage and sadness and grief that would well up and overflow. But holding onto it is just making me sick, depressed, unhappy, cold...
Wow...this post turned out much differently than I expected. That letter was obviously very cathartic at some level.
Thank you all for being so awesome that you'd listen to this, too.