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It’s been twelve days since my dad’s sudden death and I’m still wrestling with feelings of guilt due to the lack of time that I’ve spent with him.

I didn’t know that he had cancer. I didn’t know how much pain he had and was just keeping in. I didn’t know that he was going to die five days after I last talked to him. I didn’t realize that all his responses in that last conversation in the form of groans and moans we’re the last that the would hear from him. I try so much to remember the times that I’ve spent with him but my brain is just not cooperating. I feel that I don’t deserve to remember him.

Grief for me has been a conduit of guilt. No matter what I do to help my mom and my siblings, my guilt just won’t let up. I should have visited them before the pandemic. If I did, then maybe I would have noticed something, anything that I could bring to their attention so I would be ready to accept his passing.

I am not okay.

I might look okay on the outside because I can quickly suppress my emotions, but I am not. I have tried to be strong for my siblings, and especially my mom. I tried making rational decisions in the handling of my dad’s death from a distance , and that has resulted in the proper management of everything that needed to be accomplished so we can get my mom to an environment where she is taken cared for.

I am tired.

I’m tired of making decisions, especially when I’m accused of not being there in person. It’s as if my grief is less than the people who are there. I wish I can just freeze time so I can be in my frozen bubble and deal with this grief without affecting anyone else.

I feel a void in my heart and mind that only my Tatay can fill, and all I can do to fill that void is dump that whole with my guilt. I am looking forward to better days, days when I don’t tear up whenever I associate a memory, object, or anything else to him. I look forward to days when I can only remember happy memories of him.

No one ever told me what grief is like until it hits me. I don’t know how it hits me, but when it hits me, my reaction varies from anger to just abject sadness.

I need help.

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