The uncontrollable crying has become less frequent Dad

October 20, 2017

Re-Syndicated

The uncontrollable crying has become less frequent Dad, but you’re still heavy on my mind, pressure still on my chest, knots still in my tummy, and a huge void still in my heart.

Mom and I went to the funeral parlor to settle things with them. They are so unbelievably wonderful, helpful, personal, genuine. We really love them and they love us. Kris and her husband wish they could have known you. They missed out on a lot of laughter and great conversations. You were a mentor and teacher to many. The word “mentor” I do not say lightly. Mentor has a sacred meaning to it much more so than a teacher. Your intellect, wisdom, encyclopedic knowledge of anything you were really interested in in, your fast humor, stories, and puns, your creative sides, dad you had a lot of value that you added to peoples lives.

Jason came out to the funeral parlor after we basically had everything settled to say bye for now to you and see the body you temporarily occupied for 74 years. Its the visual representation of you that we have known and identify with that we miss along with everything else about you dad.

I had a few crying moments throughout the couple hours we were there. I’ll tell you about my biggest uncontrollable cry I had yesterday when we were settling things at the funeral parlor…

I wrote the personal check for your final expense. I wrote slowly and cried the entire time. Never have I taken so much time to write a check before and I hardly ever write checks anymore. I kept the carbon copy. I pressed hard to make sure I got a good carbon copy and I did. I even put a heart in the memo area along with a short description of the purpose of that particular check.

But here is the part of the check writing process where I broke down and cried the most…

I told them that we have a copy of the check that you wrote dad, for the adoption fee when you and mom adopted me when I was just a newborn baby and you’ve told me many years ago that it was the best check you ever wrote before in your life. And now here I was writing the final expense check for you dad. Oh wow I cried. The funeral directors were touched at the story! They believed you were right dad when you said that was the best check you ever wrote in your life for my adoption fees. Back in those days they use to send the checks back to you. They stopped doing that years ago now you can get images of sent checks. Today I won’t get the check back in the mail but I have that carbon copy and we still have the original check you wrote 40 years ago for my adoption fee. How amazing is that dad?

When we went to look at your old body you temporarily occupied one last time I recited the check writing story one more time and of course while looking at your old body that I visually identify with you I had one more uncontrollable cry before taking off with mom to the veterans office here in kenosha to get started on benefits for mom. The four of us in our bodies were together one last time dad. Three of us still occupying our temporary bodies, you’ve already vacated your body dad. While the four of us were there I quickly reflected on many other times the four of us were together such as long car rides to st. louis, various vacations, time spent at home playing games like aggravation, trips to uncle bobs and aunt claudias while you played cards and the rest of us kids ran wild in the basement, holidays, so much time the four of us have spent together over the years dad. I’m really happy about that. My final last words I spoke out loud to you, dad, to the body you once occupied for seventy four years, and with you listening to me from where you are now, was something like.. See you again shortly dad, ok? Thank you for adopting me. I really lucked out because I did not get to choose you. I got to write your final expense check 40 years after you wrote the check for my adoption fees. I love you. I really miss you badly dad. I probably said more I was really going on and on. The final last thing I said after all of that was the same thing I said to you while I last saw you one week ago today, “I’ll see you again shortly dad ok?” Then I walked out with mom to take her to the veterans office here in Kenosha to figuring out benefits for mom.

During our time at the funeral parlor we collected a beautiful vase and a couple of flower arrangements in baskets. Most importantly we collected your medals and ribbons from your distinguished career in the Navy. OH yes we have your USN tie clip too. Ohhhhh yes the sympathy cards, registry book, and some other things like that too. I really didn’t want anything else like the different flower arrangements and stuff like that. I don’t feel like I can stomach forming these emotional attachments to “stuff” I just want to cling to the memories and how I will move onward from here dad. The rest of the flowers will go to nursing homes which we are told are very much loved by the old folks. That’s really awesome! That’s where they should go then. The funeral directors husband is going to put some of the flowers over his grandpas grave. The funeral director was surprised at that! I thought that was pretty cool they are finding meaningful uses for these things that we don’t really need. Dad I know the family that owns and operates Bruchs funeral home does incredible word to help each and ever family and personalizes and handles so much for each of them… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I really believe they took on a particular heart felt interest in our family dad. Mom said she saw Kris, the funeral director, crying at one point. It could have been over something else I suppose. Who knows. Just the over all affection in addition to attention makes me belief shes great with every family she works with and helps, but ours had a particular special sense of intrinsic duty for her and her family to help and do for our family. I could be wrong but that’s what I think. Even after the expense is settled she’s still going to work with us when certain things come in the mail, with the death certificate which we are still waiting for, and other things. That’s amazing she is there for us that far out on a limb. Dad it feels like there really isnt all that much more to do to get everything settled. Its mostly just moms benefits. Right now we are waiting on the doctor to sign your death certificate so we can get all your accounts settled with mom and her benefits going. Apparently the doctor we are waiting on is the Hospitalist which as you know from your final hospital stay is a very busy doctor. Kris was hoping to have that signature yesterday along with the medical examiners report. So hopefully today then so we can move on these final things. I’m scared but also looking forward to getting past all this so we can begin figuring life out without you as we’ve always known you dad. How to figure everything out with your new status as Angel. My dad is literally an angel now. That’s pretty cool even though I’m still so sad and missing you so incredibly.

Last night was the poker league the day after your funeral. After Jason got things set up he was great. I didn’t play I just wanted to visit and be in the environment of it all. Something you really enjoyed dad was these poker league nights Big Dog Poker. The league you started with Jason. Now he’s figuring it out on his own. Lou Anne came with us. Michelle went with Aunt Claudia and having never played Texas hold ’em before in her life and not even knowing basic poker hands she almost made it to final table. Not bad Michelle! You use to call her Mikey I remember! You called Melissa, “Mel” and Michelle “Mikey” and it always made them laugh. Damn I miss that! Those little things. The big things. I miss everything. But today is a new day and tomorrow is always coming no matter what but in different unpredictable and sometimes very mysterious forms from what we are use to of yesterday. Dad I remember some of the talk about you at poker last night. One of your players said your favorite pocket had was a jack and ten because you seemed to get lucky with that hand. Others talked about and marveled in amazing at how you could count cards in your head and know exactly what everyone had in their hand that way and know exactly what to do based on statistical odds. I would say the proof if that is “in the pudding” because you won more than anyone in the league pretty consistently. Your brother, my uncle bob, was a brilliant mental card counter too. Anytime anyone went against you two they would get their clock cleaned and in a frustrating way, for them!!! LoL because they knew you what was in their hand, what was left in the deck, just based on your ability to count cards and remember it all in your head as each hand progressed and your opponents could not do that!!!! Yeah that frustrated them but they kept coming back for more probably because their fascination in your ability to do that over powered their frustration about it. Pretty cool dad. Pretty cool.

Dad I’m getting better. I’ll know for sure though after everything here is settled which I think will be soon. Otherwise I don’t know how I’m doing. I just know I think for now I am getting better.

It will never go away dad I’m always going to miss you and crave to see you again.

Like you said on your final days in the hospital, “It’s sink or swim.”

On facebook the other day I posted in a Heart themed frame box that facebook makes, “Every Birthday is 1 step closer to Heaven without discounting our short time on Earth – me
Share.”

It got some cool heart felt comments, some likes, loves, shares. I’ve been sharing a lot of stuff like that and typing up big ole self expression storms like this with literally thousands of comments, likes, loves, a really good number shares and different engagements and interactions. I think as people learn more about you dad and the bond you and I have it’s helping people. How cool is that dad? So I’m going to keep doing this as I need to for my own therapy and just be completely open, forthright, even vulnerable about it all.

I even made a humors post about Boobs yesterday..LoL See dad I’m making progress. Everyone knows about my fascination with boobs I hope that never stops. I don’t think it will.

I’ll see you again shortly dad ok?

-Tom

P.s. The cubs got knocked out of the play offs yesterday in a big ole upset in their own home town. 11-1 was the final score. So the world series this year in 2017 will be between the LA Dodgers for the national league and either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees for the American league. Let’s see how your life time favorite team does next year, the St. Louis Cardinals. I’ll be rooting for them for life dad right along with you. I probably still won’t really watch much or follow it but anytime I happen to see an inning or catch a headline about the cardinals ill sure be thinking of you mostly dad, and rooting for them to win right along with you as I always have. Oh yeah, the sport I have the least amount of interest in, football… Aaron Rodgers is out for the season with a broken collar bone I heard. I know you are a life long football fan, baseball, and basketball. You love the green bay packers. So What does this mean for them to lose their star player for the year? Can’t be good, I guess? Jason would know I’m sure. You have encyclopedic knowledge of these sports. Amazes me. You amaze me dad every day.

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Athena Garcia I’m so sorry for your loss.

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Christy Richardson all the love to you!

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Juanita Haselwood Tom its been 4 years since my dad had passed and I still greive and feel lost .sorry tom for your loss

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Karen Gibson My heart aches so bad for you. I cried when I read this. It broke my heart. I can’t image what you are going through. I can’t imagine losing my parents. It will kill me. My mom is my best friend. Oh geez now I’m crying again. I can’t even type this without getting emotional. I just want you to know I’m here for you. I will keep your family in my prayers. Xoxo

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October 20 at 9:41am

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Ann Schierling So sorry for your loss, Tom…hugs. 🙏🏼

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Florence Arquitt I’m so sorry I wrote you a post yesterday!

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Paulette Runkel You will have MOMENTS along the way. It’s a part of memories and that’s a good thing💗. I know well as I just lost my mother shortly before your awesome dad. So keeping this up is a way to heal.

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Debbie Roberts Im so sorry for your loss and pain

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Debby Brown Partridge My heart is going out to you…having gone thru this in 2000 when my dad (best friend) passed away…then my mom in 2008…u never forget all the happy memories!! They will always b there. Praying that God will give you comfort & strength you will need…love you, Tom!!! Rest assured we r all praying for you my sweet warrior friend!!! 😇😇

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Jeanne Penner Beautifully written , Tom! ❤️

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Sherry Champion-Stewart Tom I’m so sorry that you are going through so much heart ache. I lost my father to lung cancer in 2008 and it’s never easy losing a parent. They say time heals but it doesn’t really . Just learn to keep his memories alive by talking about him always or listening to his favourite music . Know that he is by your side always

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Arlene Paraiso replied4 Replies

Kat James Be strong Tom. It gets better. I too went thru that. Really hurts.

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Stacy Sain Schenk 😢 Tom I’m so very sorry for your loss. Time does heal. I lost my mom in 2004 and my Dad back in January of this year. It’s hard but you’re a strong man and you have so many friends want to surround you with love and strength. ❤️❤️❤️

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October 20 at 10:08am

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Theresa Marie Love God Bless you,, Love never dies celebrate his life relive the good times in your mind He is eternally with you.. You have to live and be happy he wouldn’t want you to be sad for a second… love to you …

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Christine Pederson In very sorry and sad for you!!😭

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Tanya Hummer My condolences Tom

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Susan Turkel Young My heart aches for you!! I lost my beloved father 45 years ago. It’s a pain I still feel today. I lost my mother in 2010 who I took care of for 11 months, That is a pain I will never get over and to make matters worse my husband died exactly 5 months later. Your father will always be with you. He lives in your heart and your many memories of him!! Hugs to you!!

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Diana Marieta All of your thoughts in the written word is helping you cope. I never got to do that when my parents passed. There will be times when you think you’re dealing well with it…and something brings back a memory and tears. But, love is forever and forever our angels will be with us until we are united once again. Sending prayers your way.

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Theolynn Carpenter This breaks my heart!! I hope you are able to endure and in time come to peace with it all. I’m not gonna say anything cliche. I just really send my love and blessings your way and to your family also Tom!

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Jodi Giardina Hi Tom. I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your Dad. What you wrote is such a lovely memorial to your Dad…it sounds like he was a wonderful person. I lost my Dad, too, and I know how difficult this time is. Right now it’s probably hard to keep hearing that it takes time, but there really is no other answer. You never really stop missing them, you just kind of accept that they’re no longer around. My Dad died just about 10 years ago ( it will be 10 years in Dec ) and I still miss him. It doesn’t feel like 10 years…it feels like much less than that. Keep writing and talking and reminisce about your Dad…those memories are what will make you feel better, eventually, and for the rest of your life. <HUGS>

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Rachel Gendreau Big hugs!!

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Juanita Haselwood No not for me at all tom .he was my best friend. My two brothers too I lost one was killed and still a open case frim 1988

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Cindi J Rogers Tom, your beautiful words about your dad, I wish I could take away your pain. My dad has been gone 4 years now, I still cry and miss him deeply. It never goes away, it just becomes easier. It’s the new normal, I guess. Try not to rush your grief, it will only push you farther behind. Cry, write, and talk. I talk to my parents ALL the time. I am also in grief counseling. My dad was my best friend, my rock, I have such a strong bond with him. Like you, I paid my dad’s final expenses. I have my original birth bill my dad saved of my birth.

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Cher Harding – Bruin Tears Rolling For Your Heart Tom. I Am Adopted As Well & Close To My Daddy.

((Healing, Heartfelt Condolences & Hugs))

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Mahala Spann Thinking of you. Sending love.

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Hanan Hall So very sorry Tom, warm hugs and prayers for you and your Mom and family, God Bless.

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Vicki Bush Bredemeier   

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Anne Marie Lotter-inchiostro Remember all of the good times and embrace them as your dad wants you to be happy… Xoxo

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Valerie Sanford Pinotti So sorry for your loss sweetheart… You’re in my prayers

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Norelle Walters Love you Tom . My prayers are with you!

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Cynthia Shetterly Such an endearing heart felt letter, I started to tear up. Those great memories and pictures are gonna be so much more valuable but what’s in the heart, nothing can be bigger then that ! A good dad that made A good eternal impression in your heart, including the legacy of love that was given to you will walk with you all the days of your life, and the beauty is that a piece of them is still with us forever and knowing that it’s ” so long” not ” goodbye” makes it a little more bearable for us to live without them for now,,, until we meet again. Then there is God to whom we can draw strength from when there’s no where else to get it. That was a beautiful letter tom, a real from the heart one ❤️

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Cynthia Shetterly My brother has passed away 30 yrs ago, one of my sons passed 15 yrs ago, my dad 8 yrs ago and my mom passed 1 1/2 yrs ago and my son chad passed away just 2/12 months ago at 13 yrs old. Also my favorite aunt and grandparents, I’m starting to feel very alone these days, and for me personally it does not get easier with time, I can tuck it away but as soon as o I see a picture of them or talk of them or even going to the grave, it all pours out uncontrollable sobbing like it happened yesterday. That’s just me tho. It might be easier in time for some but I hear from friends that time doesn’t make it easier for them either

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Johanna Anderson My heart goes out to you and your family Tom.

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Sian Lindemann Let yourself feel it all …for it full of LOVE

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Debby Jo Beautiful ❣️

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Amelia R Patterson  sweetie. Lost my mom in July. I still have yet to fully allow myself to grieve.

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October 20 at 2:13pm

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Linda Engelmann Everyday there is always something that reminds me of my dad. I never had the time a child is supposed to have with a parent but pain and tears are still there. 51 years later after he was Kia the tears and still the same. He is in my heart that keeps beating daily. Now that I am a mom grandmother sister aunt friend was wife etc. I am doing what I can as a legency to leave behind while I am still here on this earth. I hope I will be in the heart of many as my dad was.

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Charyl Lynn I went through these very same emotions when I lost my Dad then Momma 8 months later. I don’t have any Magic words to take away your pain. The amount of grief you are feeling is a Testimony of the Love you have for Your Dad. Nobody grieves the same. What’s Wonderful is His Legacy! It’s been nearly 6 years and I Still find myself crying and a lump in my throat. The emptiness and heartache subsides over time. But, his Memory will live on as long as You Remember Him. Prayers hon for comfort to you and Your Mom. (((((Hugs))))) Positive Energy and Light…

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October 20 at 4:19pm

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Andrea Bernstone So heartfelt, bless you and your family at this sad time 💝

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Rhea Rivera Sorry for your loss.

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Katy S Dougherty I kind of understand what you are going through honey, seeing as I just lost a good old friend of 13 years who was like a 2nd mom to me to cancer an attended her wake/ funeral on 10/11/2017 

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Katy S Dougherty replied2 Replies
Amina Bentivegna These posts have been reading like a true life novel, Tom… so poignant, so descriptive like an old 1940’s radio show, a Fireside Chat… very warm, touching with a sense of really inviting “us” into “your” world…
It has to feel wonderful having such a loving & large close knit family to gather ‘round & share memories.
I grew up in such a family myself… large, Italian & close-knit… oh, the stories, the inside jokes, the shared memories. My father passed when I was 6 1/2 yrs old. The memories I had of him were fleshed out, added to & filled in by my family on both sides so I had a more complete image. Nothing can replace that (and the stories never get old… just richer & more powerful in the re-telling…)
I send my heartfelt prayers, hugs & love to you & your family, Tom…
🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

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Amina Bentivegna replied2 Replies

Joanna Kruk So sorry to hear about his passing!!! Hang in there hun…..

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Leslie P. McMillan You’ll dream of your father, I promise. It will be when he’s ready, not you. But the dreams will happen. See if I’m not right. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I promise you he’s not far away. 💖🌹💋

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Pam Lawbaugh What a nice post. In our thoughts/prayers.

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Debbie Golding Love this post Tom your dad will never leave completely. He will be around watching your accomplishments and smiling. I am so proud of how strong you are just now.
We are sadly about to face the first anniversary of my dad’s passing on the 30th November. I’m not sure how we will cope with this. We plan on planting an oak tree for him in the garden on the day. He loved his trees, we bought some acreage and trees in a conservation area in his name as well as donating to the cancer research charity, the submariner charity and the Naval veterans charity. He left the Royal navy as acting commander so I know where you are coming from with the connections.
Please take the time to heal, cry and make use of the friends around to remember him by. Xx

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Tom Birkenmeyer replied1 Reply

Laurie Jacobson Heartwarming loving heroic. Peaceful well written beautiful ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Arlene Paraiso You have a beautiful adoption story. And a beautiful father and son story. I really like the meaning of the checks… its a beautiful exchange. For lack of a better word… just shows how we take care of one another oin this temporary time on earth together. I visit my dad’s grave and my mom always wonders at how my dad’s and grandparents earthly remains occupy just 6 feet away… they aren’t there anymore but their remains of what we knew are. You’re wiring reminds me of my mom’s thoughts on this.

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October 21 at 10:54am

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