Three years ago today was arguably the worst day of my life. I sat in the hospice care center with my mom as my dad took his last breath. After suffering with colon cancer on and off for 13 years, it was finally his time to go. As a 17 year old, it was difficult to process. I was planning a funeral for my parent and signing legal documents that I didn’t understand. I was already overwhelmed with stress of losing a loved one, and then I had to deal with all of this on top of it.
Over the past few years, I have been able to cope with my father’s passing. Sure, certain things like specific days or milestones are difficult, but generally I am handling things very well, but the one aspect of my father’s death that I haven’t conquered yet is Shrek.
I bet you’re confused. Sounds weird , right? Let me explain.
When my dad died, Shrek was playing on the TV.
Now, I’m no psychologist here, but what I can tell you from what one of my therapists has told me is I have associated Shrek with the trauma of my dad’s passing.
It takes time to heal from trauma. And I have yet to completely heal from the trauma of my dad’s passing. I don’t know if one can ever come to a complete place of healing after the passing of a loved one, but I feel that I will personally feel closest to that point when I am able to speak and watch Shrek as freely as I could before my dad died.
As of right now, I do not feel ready to conquer Shrek. I’ll get there someday, but until then, that ogre can kiss my a**.
In Memory of William Guy McMullen
12.13.60 – 03.07.15