I listen to a lot of music which includes all types of artists and genres. Quite often I connect with many of the lyrics in these songs. Sometimes it’s the whole song and other times it just a particular lyric that will speak to me. I was recently scanning the radio station while I was driving and looking for a song that fit my mood at the time and I came across a station that was playing a song that I haven’t heard in many years, but one I always liked. It’s not uncommon for me to not know the artist of some of the music I listen to and this song was no different. However, I always remembered a line in the song that I liked. The song is called “Father of Mine” and is a rock song released in 1997 by the band Everclear. The line is “I will always be a little weird inside”. The song is about a guy whose father had left him at an early age and how not having is father in his life screwed him up.
Like I said before, I always liked the song and that lyric. However, the lyric has a new meaning to me since the death of Katie and Noah. I think any parent who losses a child will always be “a little weird inside”. I often hear from grieving dads that say “I just can’t get back to the guy I was before my child’s death”. There is a reason for that; it’s not possible to go back to who you were before. It takes a long time and agony to realize this fact. We (at least I did) try to get back to who we were before as quickly as possible thinking that if we could just get there, maybe we will feel better again. The problem is we often spend a lot of energy trying to achieve something that is not possible and it creates fear, panic and anxiety as a result. I tried to get back to who I use to be by trying to get back to work and other things in my life; hoping it would stop me from thinking about what happened to my daughter. I did a so-so job of this for a while and then things started to unravel, quickly. Because of this unraveling, fear started to set in and then panic/anxiety attacks followed.
I received a call from a newly bereaved dad early last week and he was having anxiety attacks that were scaring the hell out of him. We talked at length and I assured him that what he was experiencing was “normal” and that I and other dads I have spoken to have also had these attacks. We also spoke about surrendering to this process and to realize what you are thinking and feeling is all part of this horrible journey. I think once you realize this is going to be the toughest thing you ever had to go through and that others have traveled the same path and survived, it removes some of the fears.
Being “weird inside” is just part of this mess. Although I would say that I am now happy more than 90% of the time, there are still times when the “weirdness” creeps up on me, it just doesn’t scare me or control me anymore because I know it’s only temporary and it will pass.
Anyone else ever felt a little “weird inside”?