Sadness can be exhausting. Thirty-five years ago, my youthful father died after a two-year bold battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was a devastated, and angry. I still am. Yet, as I navigate through life’s treacherous terrain, it’s his humor and casual way of dealing with daily doldrums, I long for.
Over the years, I have learned time has no meaning. Dad’s departure felt like it happened yesterday, however it was three decades ago. Grief is a constant companion. As an eleven-year-old, I was numb to the pain and now as a forty-six-year-old the pain is still real and raw.
Over the years, it felt like I was hauling a huge weight around all-the-damn-time. I was. I still am. Grief does not go away. Often wondering, does grief get harder? The shock and numbness have worn off. However, the unfriendly reminder death walks beside me every day, does not.
Over the years, I would write. I would scribble quotes or reflective thoughts which were intended to inspire & motivate me. This is how I tried to make sense of the world around me. What I learned, there is no making sense of my feelings of grief. We each cope in different ways. What works for one, will not work for another. I do know writing has helped me to process and to move through my grief and resentment.
Last week my kindhearted hubs surprised me with academic regalia. I had graduated with my Master’s and opted out of the virtual commencement or any type of celebration. Yes, this level of education was a personal goal and major milestone. Maybe I avoided fanfare, because I wanted my dad there. In life, I keep pushing and plodding forward, as I want to seize every day and make the most of life, but mainly – I want to make him proud. I long for someone to tell me, “he sees me.” I want to know he is toasting me, while gripping tight that cold Coors Light somewhere tranquil flashing his signature mischievous grin.
Yeah, August 30th sucks. Yes, I will eat a slice of Boston Cream Pie. Certainly, I will light a candle and cry.
Love is forever, and trust me – grief never dies.