Pitch Black

I’ve been MIA for close to six weeks now.

And if it weren’t for the fact that my domain name was up for renewal, I probably would have stayed MIA for even longer. So thank you to Hubby (and to a few other folk out there who inquired about how I was doing) for pushing me to update this piece of cyberspace.

See, the thing is … I’m not quite sure to write about these days. Lately, nothing seems to inspire any urge to write. I’m sure I do have things to say, but it seems so trivial compared to what else is going on in the world. Or what else is going on in my life.

Between traveling for my job and spending a lot of our time in Detroit, I’ve hardly had enough time to catch up on all the TV shows we’ve had DVR’d since before Thanksgiving. So yeah … being in Chicago these past few days, I’ve spent my downtime watching my shows.

Now … is it me? Or does it always seem that when you’re going through something personal that the news or even certain TV shows seem to center around those personal issues? For instance, I’m sure a few of my IF friends can relate to the storyline surrounding Audrey & Jeff in “Rules of Engagement.” For me, it happens to be Marshall’s latest storyline in “How I Met Your Mother.”

As it happens, one of the first few episodes I “caught up” with following my Dad’s funeral was the episode where Marshall and Lily, who have been trying for the past few seasons to get pregnant, finally go to see an Infertility Specialist. Watching their trials to start their family have, at one time or another, touched that part of me that still mourns the fact that I’ve never been able to get pregnant.

But this episode … well, the ending definitely surprised me. That was when we find out that Marshall’s Dad had suddenly died from a heart attack.

Talk about art imitating life. Nothing could hit closer to home at that moment than the look that Marshall had on his face when he was told of the news. And as if I hadn’t cried enough over the past few weeks by that time, I found myself with big crocodile tears as the credits rolled by.

And since then, the episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” have somehow managed to make me cry in some way or another. Like the one where the gang tries to cheer Marshall up during his Dad’s funeral.  Or the one where Marshall was too preoccupied with trying to be the environmental lawyer that he had always told his Dad he’d be.

Then there’s the “Desperation Day” episode. Lily decides to fly out to Minnesota to be with Marshall on Valentine’s Day.  Marshall  had been back at his childhood home since the funeral  to “help” his mother adjust to life without his father. What Lily finds when she arrives is that Marshall’s way of “helping” included him experiencing a bit of “Revertigo.” In other words, he reverted back to the high school version of Marshall; he began to ask his Mom to do everything for him: make his lunch, do his laundry, etc.

During a conversation Marshall had with Ted (in the midst of playing old video games in his childhood bedroom), Marshall randomly turned to Ted and said, “I miss my father.” And Ted answered, “I know.”

Then Marshall relayed the story of a memory he had of taking long road trips with the entire family. And how many times he’d find himself the only one awake to keep his Dad company while he drove through the darkness of night. Marshall told him how he could never see anything in front of the headlights during those pitch black nights, but he always felt safe because his Dad was driving. And he was a superhero that could see way out into the darkness. But now that his Dad was gone, things are just pitch black … and he could no longer see anything in front of him. And he couldn’t see where he was going.

And that’s really what it is; I miss my father. I miss the simplicity that life was when I was back in high school … even if I didn’t think life was anything but simple at the ripe old age of 15. I wish I could go back to when I could sit in front of the TV and watch old reruns with my Dad asleep on the couch. I wish I could have him make his famous “Daddy’s Chicken Noodle Soup” on the days I was feeling sick.

I especially miss the car trips we’d make to London, Ontario (or even to the East Coast) to visit family … where I found myself the one who’d stay up with my Dad to keep him company. To sing songs on the radio just to keep him awake.

And now, I feel lost. Like Marshall, I can no longer see what’s in front of me; no longer feel the urge to do the things I normally like to do. Like knit or crochet. Or write.

But I know that this is normal; that I’ll eventually be able to put one foot in front of the other and move on. And I guess that’s why I’m making the effort to do those activities I’ve enjoyed in the past. The same ones that helped me work through the loss I’ve felt about Infertility.

For now though, I’m going to continue with my grief for just a little longer. Well … truly, I’ll grieve for as long as it takes me to grieve. But the point is, I know what I need to get back to in order to return to some sense of normalcy.

And I know that’s what my Dad would have wanted.

10 Replies to “Pitch Black”

  1. I’ve been thinking about you and glad that you posted. I can only imagine the fog you are in. I think you should grieve as long as you want to. There is no need to write on your blog, knit, or crochet unless you want to.

    Marshall’s dad was a fun part of “How I Met Your Mother” just has your dad was I am sure a fun part of your life too. 🙁

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about you, following your travels on Facebook, wondering how you were holding up with the loss of your father. And yes, it is weird how it sometimes seems that the shows I manage to watch frequently call up themes from my own life. To be honest, I haven’t been able to see either Rules of Engagement or HIMYM lately, and I didn’t know there was an infertility story line in either one. I’ll have to see if I can catch some episodes on Hulu.

    Anyhow, I’m glad that you’re back to posting, even if it is just prompted by the renewal of your domain. I miss reading what you have to say!

  3. The art-imitating-life thing is almost freakishly spooky. It is really interesting though how watching even fake tv characters go through similar experiences can help us see some essential element of what we are facing. You have been through a hell of a lot, take all the time you need. Thanks for the beautiful post! It is good to see you again.

  4. I’ve missed you — have been wondering how you’ve been doing — but I figured you would resurface when you were good & ready to do so. (((HUGS)))

  5. Take your time Em and grieve – however you need to do that. Hold on tight to your hubby, and your family and they will help carry you through. You are in my prayers.

  6. I’ve missed reading your blog, Emily, but I can understand your need for a break to grieve. Its interesting how some of our favorite TV shows can imitate our lives, and at times when we are not ready for it, it can be overwhelming.

    I haven’t watched any of the new episodes of HIMYM. I didn’t know Marshall and Lily had been going through IF. I think I thought their journey to parenthood had just started and so when there was a episode when they had to go a fertility doc I stopped watching (again overwhelmed).

    Hugs to you, Em.

  7. Been missing your writing. We’re several seasons behind in Germany and I just saw the end of the episode where Marshall and Lily decided to try to get pregnant, and not knowing what was coming with the plotline, I was sickened by the assumptions that were made about how easy it would be.
    Gladd to hear that you are making an effort to pursue the things that have brought you pleasure in the past.

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