This is the first post I’ve written in months. I figured today would be a great day to get back in the saddle as any. I’ve been off my game since my father passed in July 2019.
Today is my father’s birthday. Although he isn’t with us to celebrate it, we plan to celebrate him. It’s been a little over a year since he’s been gone and I still don’t fully comprehend how it could be, but he clearly isn’t here so I gotta wrap my head around it.
There are three important (to me) lessons that I’ve learned about grief since he’s been gone. I figure they can help someone who is experiencing the same feelings I am.
There is no time limit on grief. For me, it comes on more strongly now than it did the day my father died. I can remember not crying at all that day. My family left the hospital and went home. We were all pretty numb. I am pretty sure I didn’t eat. I just showered and forced myself to sleep. I even went to work the next day. I cry more now than I ever did. There are two instances that stand out to me the most. The first was just recently. I was watching an episode of NCIS and something unexpected happened and it reminded me of my Dad – just in case you watch the series, I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. All of a sudden, the floodgates were open and I lost it. I was crying so uncontrollably that I was certain I would never stop. A few minutes later, I felt better and I went about my day.
There is no one-size-fits-all grief process. If you’ve lost more than one person, you may see a difference in the grieving process for each one. I lost my paternal grandmother when I was in elementary school. I didn’t really understand what happened. I just know that my mom picked me up early from summer camp one day and my Grandmother wasn’t home anymore. We rode in a white limo and attended a service at church. That was all my mind could comprehend at the time. I am sure my eldest sister had a different experience. My grandmother was there from the moment she was born and helped raise her. I am also sure that my father had a different experience because that was his mother; the person who carried and raised him. What do you do when that person is gone? Just like comparison is the thief of joy, it can also fill you with resentment in death. Try not to fault others for not grieving in the same way you do. It’s not wrong; it’s just different.
Nothing that has happened can be changed. This is still a hard one for me. I know it to be true only because my father isn’t here. It is a complete waste of time to dwell on what you could have done. Do your best to be confident in the fact that the person you lost knew how you felt for them. Live in a way that would make them proud and would bring you happiness. Isn’t that what (s)he would want for you? Take this time to build relationships with the people who are here with you now.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list of what may happen when you lose someone close to you, but it’s a start. If you have anything to add or if you’re willing to share how you dealt with your own grief, please leave a comment.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope you found something interesting and decide to share.
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