Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On Grief and Grieving

I'm not a Grief Expert, although I've learned a thing or two since my world got rocked in January, arguably the worst month of my life.  Here's some of what I now know and don't know:

1) After your Dad dies, you will forget where you put your reading glasses at least six times a day.

2) You'll forget where you're going when you're driving down the freeway and miss your exit. Twice.

3) You'll break down in tears in the grocery store checkout line when the lady in front of you places a package of Ambrosia Salad on the conveyor belt.  Everyone will stare at you like you're crazy.

4) Crying only three times a day is a good day.

5) When your well-meaning friend, the one who hasn't lost a parent, tells you that time will heal the Grand Canyon-sized wound in your heart, you'll want to reach across the table and squeeze her neck.  But you smile instead.

6) You'll wonder who ever came up with those Stages of Grief.  There are stages?  You worry why you're the exception, especially when they crash on you all at once.

7) You'll miss deadlines.

8) You won't delete your Dad's cell phone number from your Contact List, just in case he tries to call.

9) You'll pray more.

10) That Eagle Kachina that sat in your Dad's library forever doesn't look right sitting in your house.

11) Photos will make you cry.  Hard.

12) You'll thank God every day for your brother and sister and your mother.

13) You'd do just about anything for one more minute with your Dad.

14) Writing will get you through it, just likes it's done with so many other painful things.

Thanks for listening. I feel a little better. For now.


Colette Martin said...

Liz, I can only imagine. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Liz, there are no words. Only virtual hugs are possible. Each of us grieves in his or her own way and in our own time. I am so so sorry for your loss.

gaylene said...

I'm so sorry. What a hard thing to go through.

Janie Emaus said...

Having recently lost my dad, I can totally relate. So sorry for your loss.

Randy said...

My condolences. I hope you start to feel better.

Anonymous said...

Aw, {hugs} sweetie. Your list reminds me of my BFF after she lost her dad. Oh, the phone calls where we just cried together. {{hugs}}

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

American Horror Story had one of the best quotes about death that I had ever heard. Jessica Lange's character says,

"When a parent dies, a child feels their mortality. When a child dies, it is immortality that a parent loses."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't lost a parent but I predict right now I'll be a basket case for a long time when it happens.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Liz, One thing I've learn, people mean well but say some of the stupidest things when you're grieving. Everyone walks this path differently. There is no right or wrong way. You feel what you feel and that's okay.

And yes, time does heal but it takes it's own sweet ramble and even after the days of tears are gone? Something will just floor you again. A song, a smell, an old show,a phrase you use and it makes you pause and realize just where you got it and the hurt is fresh again. The good news is? Those days become fewer.

I've walked this path. It's not easy. Something that helped me? I wrote good memories down when I remembered them. They were little nuggets that brought dad closer. Even after 16 years, there are times I miss my dad so much.

When I lost my brother a couple of years ago, we all wrote in mom's memory book. I still add to it.

Hugs Darlin'. You're in my thoughts.


LD Masterson said...

I understand. It's been a few years since I lost my mom but recently I redecorated a bathroom and when it was done I went to the get camera so I could take a picture to send her, because we always shared that sort of thing. Then I remembered she wasn't there to send it to. And for a moment it was like losing her all over again.

I'm sorry for your pain.

Danette said...

And even after a long time, you'll still feel like you just went through it... it will just not feel that way quite as frequently. It's hard losing someone you love.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm so sorry. My father's been gone for two years, and my mother, for sixteen. (unbelievable!) No matter how many years pass, that empty spot in your heart will never completely fill. What's still hard for me is shopping for greeting cards for my mother-in-law. I love her, of course, but the words in those cards always make me ache for my mother.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Gee, Liz,

I know exactly how you feel. I lost both my parents. They have been gone for over a decade, The sun never sets without me thinking of either of them. That is part of life.

However, the tears will pass. I promise they will. They have for me, but the memories will never pass, especially during the holidays.

Remember one VERY IMPORTANT THING... your dad would not want you to be this unhappy. He loved you. You will always be with you, and you will always have his spirit within you.

Time will be your best friend. I know how hard it is now and you will continue to have outbursts, but your heart will heal.

Hug your mom, siblings, and friends, It will help. And write, write, and write more. My dad had passed on Veteran's day in 2001, My first blog year, on that day, I had done a tribute to him and ALL veterans... Perhaps a post about your dad will help get you through your pain.

From what I have read from you, his sense of humor was awesome. Share with us a funny story featuring your dad at his humorous best. Laughter through tears is one very healing and powerful emotion.

I hope this helps.

Remember we are ALL here for you.

Liz Fichera said...

Thanks for the kind words, everybody. Appreciate it so much.

Carol Riggs said...

Heartfelt cyberhugs to you! Don't rush those so-called "stages." I've heard people ping-pong around them anyway, revisiting some points again and again. That's natural. Hang in there!