I’m back, and for realsies this time.
July 1 was the 1 year anniversary of my Dad and while it was tough, there was something cathartic in it. Don’t get me wrong, I miss him terribly and I wish he was here – but I also know that he was in terrible pain and that needed to end. There is a peace that comes with knowing that someone who has been suffering for a very long time is finally out of pain, even though it comes with the death of someone I love. It’s an unpopular opinion because many people also believe if you feel that way, you must not be feel sorrow for the loss.
Don’t think I don’t miss my Dad, or that I’m not sad that he’s gone. Just because I’ve accepted his death doesn’t mean I’m not sad he’s gone (thank you, therapy, for helping me achieve that understanding.) There have been moments in the past year that I’ve so desperately wanted to pick up the phone and call him, tell him about my day or show him my new house, or something. That is different from accepting his death.
We went to visit him at the cemetery and spent some time there. His headstone is up but the unveiling was not for another 6 days. It’s a Jewish thing. We had a small service and then went to Olive Garden which was his favorite place to eat. Why, I don’t know… maybe it was the bread sticks. It was lovely and emotional for everyone there, especially for my siblings. My brother spoke and I remained silent. I posted what I was going to say if I were to speak on Facebook. I’ll share it here:
There is a Hebrew Proverb that reads “Say not in grief he is no more, but in thankfulness that he was.” A powerful statement I think, one that is much harder to live by than to read aloud.
My father was – that we know for certain. Whether it was his booming voice, his contagious laugh, or simply his overwhelming presence – he was. His spirit filled those around him with emotion, sometimes good… sometimes bad, but always passionate.
The past 373 days have been less… the days less colorful, the shine less bright, our joy less exciting since Dad died and went to Heaven. The fire he brought to our family and to you, our friends, has been missing and it would be wrong to say our hearts are not still broken.
But there hasn’t been a day that we haven’t felt him in our lives. In every cardinal that graces our yard, every philanthropic act we do, every sarcastic. Quip that leads to a hearty belly laugh, Dad is with us. In every kind smile we give a stranger, every coffee we buy a friend, every action we do that makes the world a little bit of a better place.
Sometimes grief blinds us to the things that are important. The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten. So long as we keep Dad’s memory in our hearts, he will live forever.
We love you, Dad.
Not gonna lie – Olive Garden was actually quite delicious.
Therapy has been very helpful as of late and I feel like I can finally start… maybe not ‘rebuilding,’ but building something new for myself. 23 years of taking care of someone and now not having that means I can focus on myself and my husband 100% and I don’t know how to do that exactly. I have always had to take care of someone else, or multiple someone elses, and now only having to worry about me and Dreamboat is rather odd but also quite refreshing.
I realize, as I look around my new home and my new space, that it’s a strange new beginning that is going to require work to fix what was broken over the past few years. I know I hurt my marriage, my health, and myself in the process of my Dad’s death – but I know that I can fix that (that is, if Dreamboat is willing to participate as well. Which I am 99.9% sure he is, because come on – he has seen me at my absolute worst and hasn’t left me yet.)
All that being said, I feel… broken and lost, but rather excited too. But I found this needle and thread just sitting here and am going to use it to try and stitch some parts of my life back together, leaving some other parts out in the process. I’ve started the C25K process, I’m eating healthier, I’m sleeping better, I’m meditating, and I’m trying to slowly bring myself closer to the person I want to be.
Healing takes time, and I’m learning patience.