My dad’s been gone for almost four months now – even as I write that I find it so hard to believe. I still catch myself wanting to call him to tell him about some milestone in the kid’s lives. Or to ask a question about the business world. Or to get updated on the news. And each time that happens, it is like physically being punched in the gut. Because you have that one moment where you forget. Where everything is normal again. Where it doesn’t hurt to breath. But then that moment is gone and I can’t help but wonder, does it ever stop hurting?
But that begs the question of do you ever honestly want it to? Because a loss of the pain would essentially mean a loss of the person. For their memory to no longer bring the ache of missing them would in many ways be harder than the actual pain of loss itself!
I watched a movie last night where the father lost a daughter. And his pastor told him he had a decision to make – whether he was going to be angry at the time he had missed or grateful for the time he had. I fluctuate on my response to that question daily. I am so grateful for the time that I had. But at the same time I’m so angry for all that we won’t have.
I’m so angry that he won’t see my children grow.
I’m so angry that MillerBug will never have a memory with him.
I’m so angry that my boys will not have their Papa at their high school and college graduations.
I’m so angry that my possible future children will not know him.
I’m so angry….
And this anger is good….for now. Because it allows me to put aside the hurt and to replace it with something else. But when the moments come where that anger fades, I am left with an aching that I don’t think will ever be filled. I’m left with a hole in my heart where my dad used to be.
I want to focus on the gratitude but it seems to hurt more for some reason. Because being grateful for all the good memories serves as a painful reminder that there will not be more good memories in the future. And it doesn’t seem fair. Yes, death is a part of life and I knew I would lose my dad at some point. But it wasn’t supposed to be now. It was supposed to be many many years from now when we had said and done all the things that were left unsaid and undone….
So, do you move forward with the band aid of anger to cover the rawness of your emotions. Or do you rip the band aid off and let the hurt flow free. Do you embrace the pain and be grateful for time spent together – even if it was too little?
I’m sure I will continue to struggle with these questions and the gamut of emotions as I move forward in this unexpected journey. I’m sure some days I will laugh and some days I will cry. But, in the end, a part of me embraces the fact that the hurt will always be there – just like a small piece of my dad.
Share with me below – how have you dealt with grief?