I have managed to maintain my cherub like demeanor pretty well these past couple weeks. I felt accomplished to be so at peace with beginning the LONG process of placing my dad’s ashes. His birthday was last Monday and until today I was holding up REALLY well.
Two days ago, I was thinking it was nice to find myself in a place of true acceptance and joy while dealing with this next step in the grieving process. Even in the writing of our deeds; I was light but today seemed very dark in spite of the bright summer morning.
It is the oddest things that set me off.
Just when I think I’m at the top of the mountain; able to appreciate the full expanse of my pain from a high place; I step backward to take in the beauty of the scene and my back hits another cliff. A place obscured by mist from the base of the climb.
Today’s grief was brought on by listening to The Shining for the umpteenth time. The epilogue to the Torrance family’s trauma; finds six year old Danny grieving his father on a dock in Maine, with Dick Hallorann. Dick tells him:
“The tears that heal are also the tears that scald and scourge.”
Driving in early to work on Father’s Day I was overwhelmed with the notion and could not stop crying.
The day before had been so wonderful, spending time with the boys celebrating their own dad. We went to a lake near our house that is on a beaten path.
With the exception of a few off-roaders we had this jewel to ourselves all day! We spent it jumping off the bridge…
swimming, kayaking and poking the native wildlife.
We even brought some of my dad with us and the youngest chose to scatter him off our launching zone.
There was nothing but easy happiness in these acts.
Driving in today, it was hard not to feel a fresh sense of loss. With each year my dad becomes more of a story than an actual living person to them. This was also the first concrete thought I had upon news of his passing.
The first reality to hit home.
He would never have another day with them, meet our husky in person, or taste our honey harvest from that year, there would be no visits and no more opportunities for me to tell him “happy Father’s Day!”
The intoxicating reality, that we all have a finite amount of moments to be present with each other made me that much more grateful for the day gone by. We had made the most out of it. No distractions or crowds. Just our little family figuring things out together, going on an adventure. Watching the men in my life weave in and out; all I could hope, was that they make the most of the time they have with one another.
It is impossible for me not to want one more day like that with my own dad. Hard to see Facebook filling with people’s tributes to their living fathers. Even harder to read post from people who have lost a parent and realizing that there is a long way left to go on this path through grief. Seeing the proof in back and white that losses; even decades in the past are still lamented.
I am so grateful to have had the man I did for a dad. He was a long way from anything that resembled perfection but he was mine and I was his. I can’t stop wishing for one more hug. One more joke- even if it’s the stupid “Bradford P. Bradford” one.
I guess the only real reason I felt compelled to share- is to join my voice with all those who have lost and say that no matter what, some days still suck.
It is a wound that is not yet healed. A thin spot in fence between heaven and hell, where sharp, spiteful things still poke through.
His death has taught me a lot about myself in the last two years.
It’s ok to laugh and cry at the same time, to let my smile lines fill with tears. I have learned to speak fluently in the past-tence. Learned to advise myself. Debate my decisions with my ‘internal Dennis.’ By most accounts I am an independent grown woman, dealing with things really well.
But today, I feel like a little girl missing my daddy.
And that’s ok too.
Happy Father’s day dad, I love you. I took this picture for you, I hope you like it. ❤