An Old Friend

FullSizeRender-3As my dad’s birthday draws closer I find myself thinking about him more often than naught. More and more of the ordinary things in life that one wouldn’t give a second thought to bring forth strong memories of him.

I don’t put a lot of faith in sharing of myself with others…so when these moments hit, I often slink off and hide myself away and try to deal quietly with my grief. Often I feel very much alone and don’t even know how to begin to share these feelings, so that, in effect, makes me feel even more alone. You see, once you lose someone you love, you almost feel guilty sharing your memories with someone else…it’s almost at times like people feel they have to tell you how sorry they are…when the reality is that you’re not looking for pity, you’re just sharing a happy time. Suddenly that sharing a happy thing turns into even more sadness because in that sharing you’ve made someone feel pity for you…

So many people are quick to cover their awkward feelings of helplessness by telling someone who has suffered a loss that it will soon be alright…that the grief will go away in time. Because they want to help a situation that really can’t be helped and they don’t want to feel as if there is nothing they can do (there isn’t) they are often full of *good* advice…Trying there best to help someone overcome their grief…I ask you now, why?

Why do I need to overcome my grief? Will it change the loss? So how is it even possible for grief to go away?

Here’s the thing…when I am hit by a sudden wave of grief, at times it truly is a bit painful. For no reason, I feel completely helpless and utterly alone…it can come from out of the blue…one might never know when it will hit…At first is almost crushing it can hurt so badly….but once that first wave hits us, okay, sometimes it is several waves, but once it passes, it always gives us the opportunity to catch our breath and remember happier times of the one we have now lost.

As I said, I often feel very alone when I think of my dad. I think of how much I miss him. I think of how often I missed him when he was still alive and like we all do, I always said, maybe tomorrow I will give him a call and see what’s happening in his life. I did this so often, until finally, there wasn’t a tomorrow to call him. The finality of that fact is what often hurts the most…knowing that there won’t be a time I can actually pick up my mobile and call my dad. Death has taken that opportunity away from me.

Death has made that a finality…but grief…maybe not? Maybe we shouldn’t look at grief that way. I’ve learned that once those initial waves of grief and sadness hit me, when I go and find place of solitude (even if it’s all just me off in my own mind) and cry, that once those initial waves subside, that it allows my head to clear of all of the other stuff that might be going on in my mind and life. Once that happens it allows the happier memories of my dad to come to surface. Suddenly I realize that the suffocating grief that had made me feel so very alone, is in reality, a friend I should welcome. A friend that reminds me that I am never really alone. No I can’t pick up my mobile and call me dad. However, he is there with me just the same. That is the connection that death can not sever. One that grief is quick to point to me…as long as I grieve for my dad, I shall never forget him…I shall never be without him…

In short, I hope I never overcome my grief. No matter how many suggestions well-meaning people give me to do exactly that. I hope that as times goes by that I welcome that friend, called grief, more and more. I hope that those first incoming waves lessen and lessen in time, making the good memories easier to come forth. Grief isn’t something to avoid, its something to welcome and to remind me of how lucky I am to have the memories that I do. How I wouldn’t even have grief if I didn’t at first, have love…How wonderful the man was that left me with such memories…

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