It’s been about seven weeks since my Dad passed away and my moments of grief have come unexpectedly. For example, a few weeks ago I walked into a store and saw the men’s department and the first thing I thought was “what does Dad need” and immediately remembered, “he doesn’t need anything.” I was both relieved and deeply saddened by the realization that I will not be caring for my Dad anymore.
Baking pies for friends has helped with my grief… it’s something I can do on autopilot.
Another day I ran into a friend who’d always asked how Dad was doing. She looked at me and began her question, “How is he… ” and my eyes grew moist as I gently shook my head. We talked and cried and finally hugged. Later, my friend said that she felt bad for asking but I was grateful to have had the chance to release the tears.
On several occasions I’ve found that when I mention the news about Dad’s passing that it seems like I’ve given permission for others to share their pain. I’ve found myself in the aisle of a store with a friend laughing and crying as we listened to each other’s stories. Clearly we both needed to share, and in doing so, were given the opportunity to heal just a little bit.
Then just a week ago I was asked to take in a dog that is going through a loss of her own. Emile’s Mom had to move into a place where dogs are not permitted. Now her dog, Lily, and I are both experiencing loss and somehow we have to figure out how to live in the new world we now find ourselves in. I hope that I can help Lily as much as she is helping me.
Perhaps what I am most grateful for at this time is that my Dad took care of legal matters years ago and that has made things much easier than they might otherwise have been. Truly, these last months I’ve felt like I was walking around in a fog and if I’d had to be making difficult decisions I don’t know how I’d have done so. I encourage everyone to start thinking about taking care of those details for your loved ones. This site is a great place to start: www.gyst.com. The initials stand for “get your shit together.” Think about it – the death of a loved one is hard enough to handle without having to locate a will or figure out passwords. Please take action soon – I know your family will thank you.
“Tears are the silent language of grief.” Voltaire