“Weird Inside”

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”?

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User Comments ( 11 )

  • Kelly,

    Thank you for spending time with me today on the phone. You have a wonderful outreach and thanks for all you do to help others.

  • Steve B.

    This is my first post here. Its been just over 6 months since my son Ben died in a skiing accident in CA (he was 29 and had lived in Squaw Valley for 5 years). Before that I felt that no matter what, I could fix what went wrong in life. We all know how that goes.. Since Ben’s death the anxiety (hell terror at times) has been almost constant. For the first 3-4 months I was scared of even the simplest things, not feeling like I could fix anything anymore. Its begun to get a bit easier but like all of you I have the flare ups. Thanks for the site Kelly. It helps a great deal.

  • Pat

    Lyrics have always been like scripture to me. Dick Clark always said it was a good song “if you can dance to it”….but my definition was always that the lyric had to be solid and meaningful. Since Graham passed…songs I’ve known for years now come screaming out of the speakers with new meaning. Like SadDad, I never know if I’ll smile or cry.

    I found a song a few months ago that I want to share here that simply laid me out because it >completely< described how I feel/have felt, at times…about "life"….and now…about death.

    When I heard him sing "Death can really get inside your head"…I simply hit the floor. After searching for the meaning/reason he penned such a line, I found out that the writer wrote the tune just after hearing that his mom had cancer. I KNEW it had to be something profound….because only those who have been altered in the way we have been altered have such thought patterns or think about/pen such phrases.

    and the imagery in the video….WOW…. can anyone else related to how he is just pounding on that screaming/fuzzy guitar in an ever-building fashion near the end of the song…like the voices/incessant thoughts of all of this in your head that won't stop… often building inside of you until you want to scream???

    and the walking around in circles in "fade out" mode…like no one can see the real you anymore?
    ALL of that hit me squarely…. very squarely….

    As far as the "weird inside"…. I've always been one of those "on the outs" kinda people anyway…. never into the "mainstream" of sports/cars/hunting/ Etc..etc.etc.. like most other guys….and Graham's passing has only served to punctuate that fact….placing me even farther outside the "norm" than ever before.

    Weird inside….and most folks might say "Weird outside" as well.

    The only good thing about any of it is that now I just don't give a fuck what anyone says…and those who say anyhting….I just nix out of my life/ignore because they simply don't "get it" and aren't worth the expenditure of my time/energy.

  • Music has always been a huge part of my life and was also for my son Paul, who was killed five years ago.
    I’ve been weird inside since Paul died and I know that will never change. Music now makes me smile or makes me cry – I never know how I’ll react to a song…

  • Great post. I especially like the suggestion “surrendering to this process and to realize what you are thinking and feeling is all part of this horrible journey”

    And I agree, on the last part “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”

    Time is a healer… but it cannot completely erase memories

    • Grieving Dads

      Mohan – You are right on, it cannot erase memories. I still have moments even when I am happy were a flashback/image hits me and all I can do is think WTF happened. It starts to become blury, but the rawness, although mild compared to what it was is still there.



  • A week after my son was killed, I was still ass-planted on the sofa. I hadn’t really showered much, didn’t shave, and really didn’t give a flying hoot about it. My friends had urged me to join them. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I turned on the news and it was a child’s death being reported after being struck by a car. I put in a DVD and protagonist was struck by a car.

    I closed my eyes to sleep and I would “see” my son’s death played out…crossing the street, the car hitting him, his body flying 20 feet in the air and 65 feet up the street. I paced my house, hands clasped, shrieking “Why?” No one was home, just me and the cats. I decided to get the tattoo I had been scribbling on paper – lion’s head with a halo, angel wings, Tim’s name, and his dates. The decision became a compulsion which became a fixation.

    I drove to meet my friends. The bar & grill was on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. I felt anxious, and claustrophobic like everyone was pressed against me. I felt I could hear their heartbeats – like the Mad Murderer in that story by Poe. I left with only a few hugs and “man” hugs. I went and got my tattoo.

    On the way home, Good Riddance by Green Day played on the CD. I broke down during the lyrics “Tattoos of Memories, and dead skin on trial. For what its worth it was worth all the while. Its something unpredictable and in the end its right. I hope you had the time of your life.”

    I wondered if Billy Joe Armstrong was singing at that moment to me or to my son.

    • Grieving Dads

      Martin – Great story and thank you for sharing it. I was right there with you throughout. The images and flashbacks are haunting. I know the song and I like it. Its amazing how music will speak to us at the right time. Peace. Kelly

  • John Geraci

    Hey Kelly,
    Good post. And so true. Since my daughter Leslie passed a year ago July 1, nothing in my life has ever seem “right.” I don’t see how it ever can be again.. for me or for any parent who’s lost a child. Like every other Dad here, I’ll have some good days and some bad ones. But what’s weird, and not just inside, is that sometimes when things seem to be going good, I will suddenly feel so sad and lonely and guilty over Leslie’s death that I could drop to my knees and cry. If I’m in the car, I usually pull over and endure the moment. It’s so hard to take anything really seriously any more, because when I measure it against what I’ve lost, and what Leslie lost (her life, which was immeasurably more important), nothing seems to matter. Thanks for creating this site. It’s been a life-saver for me. Literally.

    • Grieving Dads

      Hey John. As always, you are welcome for the site. It means a lot to me that this site has helped you as much as you say. I know what you mean by nothing seems to matter. I hvae tried to apply that mentality to certain aspects of my life. Things at work that people get upset about I always ask “whats the worst thing that can happen?” Most know what I am getting at. They know for me the worst thing has already happened, twice. This approach is liberating. One of my new favorite words is “whatever”.



    • Tony

      oh my god, I could not have said it better. I might use this as a basis for saying what i need to say on another website if you dont mind!!!