03/19/2001 (Next)

He knows the Fates' measurement of his life. I feel cheated that it's Dad. I wanted someone to practice with, someone who would help me learn what to say, what to feel, how to cope. Someone less important in my life. I don't know if I'm in denial or coping very well.

It's been a couple days and I've hardly cried. My sanity, my peace of mind in the Buddhist sense, is precious to me. If I fight it and always keep calm will I feel like I never let something out? Will I regret it? Mom is taking it very hard...she takes everything very hard. My bother is also clearly more affected than I. Is it safe to be the sane one?

I was the strong one who held things together for Dad when he fell apart during the divorce and recession nine years ago. I'm used to the role.

My teen angst years taught me that I'm very good at the negative emotions. I can feel deep depression, sharp self-loathing, suffocating sorrow and unrelenting regret. The positives were only mild achievements of happiness characterized by lack of the negatives. Since then I've carefully cultivated the positives. It's been a long, slow struggle to my current joyous life. I don't want to jeopardize this feat by indulging in prolonged bereavement.

Perhaps it's okay if I articulate my feelings, let them be known but not allow them to overwhelm or rule me. I can reassure others, and myself, that I do have the appropriate emotions.

Do I have the audacity to not dive into mourning now? I have more wonderful things in my life than ever before. Am I selfish to focus on them?

I suppose I'm better off without having practiced mourning. I have my own philosophy, and it makes me brave. My life will go on, changed. One's life changes every day. This will simply be one of the most important changes.