Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Clarity of Grief

Though I think about my father every day, there are times that it seems overwhelming. 


I was chatting with a good friend yesterday, one who lost his mother too many years ago, who understands.  I've come to rely on those who've been where I am a little more than I probably should.  Looking to them for confirmation that I haven't completely gone off the deep end and that with time it will get better. 

There are things that I've still forced myself not to remember about those weeks.  Things that I will probably always force away from my conscious thoughts because that's where they belong.  Hidden.  Things that a person should never have to see or experience.  And yet I know that I was there for a reason.  I did what I had to do for him, even if others will never understand that.

As hard as it was, as excruciating as it was, I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

I knew that I couldn't fix him.  I knew that I didn't possess a magic cure.  I knew that he would be gone regardless of anything I did or said.  I knew that.  I've learned that lesson wasn't just about him.  Now, it is about others.

On the back end of everything that we went through with him, a clarity.  Not just pertaining to him, but to so many other things in my life.  I have learned that I cannot expect that I can right the wrongs in this world, and I've learned to forgive myself for that inability.  I have learned to do what I can, but have also gained the ability to walk away with a clear conscience when I can't anymore. 

Call it self-protection of self defense or just good judgment.  I don't know.  But there is something about going through a journey like this and coming out on the other side that changes you.  Clarity is the only way I can describe it.  And it's not something that anyone who hasn't walked that path will understand. 

I know that with my father, I will be forever grateful for the time that we had together.  I was able to say to him everything I could have ever wanted and more.  Many people are not ever granted that opportunity, I know.  And I am grateful. 

The lesson to be learned though, is that not everyone has that chance.  Not everyone gets to say goodbye.  Not everyone has months to be reminded of the gift each day is.  Not everyone will be there, holding the hand of the person who leaves. 

So take your time to say what you need to now, long before you ever have to.  Say it even if it doesn't fix anything or make it better. 

Just because I let him go without regrets doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like hell.

Maybe I'm just feeling terribly sentimental today because my little girl has a loose tooth.  As much as she wiggles and wiggles it, begs me to pull it, I don't want her to lose it.  If every baby tooth left in my house never wiggled, I think I might be okay with that.  Every one lost from here on out is another reminder of who should still hold that title.  Who should still be the tooth fairy.

Now, there is no one to ask for advice when the kids are nervous and afraid to lose one.  There is no bragging phone call to him that they pulled it out on their own.  There is no asking if he's got his tutu and wings ready.  There is no him anymore.

These are the days that I miss him the most.  Where I reach for the phone before I remember he isn't there anymore.  When I would give anything for one more day. 

More for them, my babies, than for me.  I had my time, even if it wasn't enough.  They never will.

My apologies to you all for being sad today.  Sometimes it just happens, and I've learned to let it.  I'll work on being funny tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I feel the exact same way about apologizing to people about being sad and not funny. Which is frankly ridiculous because it's my blog and I write it because I love to (need to) write. But I know what you mean. And the part about wanting to call him and brag. . . god I miss that. There's nothing to replace it and it hurts like hell.


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