So I was watching an episode of Nurse Jackie (which is a really good show by the way) and one of the characters lost his son to a drug overdose and at one point he says "The most painful part is when you realize the first thing you feel is relief".
I pretty much lost it. That sentence pretty much encompasses how I felt when my father died. He was an alcoholic and at that point he was mostly homeless. At 16 years old I was constantly worried about if he was ok. If it was winter, did he have a warm place to sleep? Even if it wasn't cold out, was he safe, did he have food to eat? He would never admit he had a problem. I even ran into him when I was volunteering at the hospital and he was checked into rehab. He pretended he didn't recognize me because he was too embarrassed. One time I saw him asleep on a bench outside the supermarket I worked at but I didn't go up to him because I knew he would be embarrassed and ashamed. I had to pretend like I didn't know him. None of my coworkers ever knew.
He was still in my life. He kept regular visits with my brother and I. He always showed up and I am grateful for that. He cared despite his addition. He would never drink when he was coming to see us which meant he was very shaky and had a tough time but he didn't want to be drunk when with his kids. He called us all the time and never forgot a birthday. It's strange to say but I had the best alcoholic father you could ask for. Never violent and very caring, he just couldn't stop drinking.
My father passed when I was 16. He died in his sleep in a graveyard and was found by a jogger in the morning. When my mother told me I cried of course but I felt guilty for the fact that my first thought was I don't have to worry anymore, he's at peace now. For years I felt horrible that that was my first thought, but as an adult I realize this is not uncommon. You're under so much stress and have so much anxiety because you care about this person and worry about them 24/7 and when they are actually gone you don't have to worry anymore. It might be hard to understand if you haven't experienced it but it's nice to see a fictional tv show actually get it right.
Well I think I might have over shared here but I felt the need to get it out.