Thursday, September 11, 2014

Catching Up

I didn't realize it had been almost 2 years since I had written. Many reasons for that - busy with a toddler, busy with life, the loss of my dad.

The past year has been probably the hardest of my life. On Halloween last year my dad died unexpectedly. It still doesn't feel entirely real sometimes. I hadn't seen him since my brother's wedding in Hawaii, we were supposed to see him this past July at the family reunion. He was supposed to meet Henry there.

Grief is a confusing, isolating, awkward, unending thing. For a few months I felt like it would crush me - the sadness, the guilt, the longing to just see him on more time to say goodbye, the regret of things that can't be changed now. Trying to hide some of that devastation so that I could still function for my kids. Feeling like I couldn't explain my own emotions well enough to even reach out to someone to help me through it all. (I can't recommend strongly enough finding  a good grief counselor - helped immensely!)

It's gotten easier in the past couple months. Easier to talk about. And to think about. But the waves of sadness still hit me out of nowhere at awkward times. A joke I know he would love. A movie I think he'd enjoy. An accomplishment I want to share with him. I miss him.

I've learned a lot this past year, especially about finding a new normal when all you want is to go back to the old normal. Hard things happen, things we don't choose for ourselves. And I am blessed to have an amazing support network of friends, family and church/Bible study groups to support me through that. My husband was nothing short of amazing after I got the call about my dad, and has continued to help in ways that I'm not even sure I know or will ever know about.

We're spreading my dad's ashes in a couple weeks. It all feels so final. There is something beautiful about completing his final request, about returning him to the earth, about being with my brother and sister to say a final goodbye. But I feel so panicked. Like a little kid freaking out about pulling off a Band-aid - the anticipation is usually worse than the actual. But I don't know what feelings to expect. And I'm so, so tired of this whole process.

I'm not sure why I'm publishing this. Maybe so someone else going through this knows that they're normal in their feelings. Maybe so the people who know me know that I'm still struggling. Maybe so I can look back someday and realize that grief really isn't unending, that it just feels that way when you're in it.

It feels good to write again. Maybe I can get back soon to stories of the craziness that is parenting the gremlins. They are growing up way too fast.  I probably should have gone to law school to be able to win arguments against my 6 year old.  Perhaps that's a project for when Henry starts school.