I can tell you that this has been a very difficult time for my family and me. Clearly, this is been one of life’s biggest struggles and I am assuming that everything is downhill from here! Very few things can trump this, so I’m thinking that things will be good for a while Grief is a funny thing. It is like the ocean. It was incredibly choppy the first several weeks, but as the months went on it became easier to deal with on a daily basis. Then the waves would come… almost out of nowhere. It just shows up and runs right over you sometimes with an almost shocking intensity.
So this week, this month, is one of those storms. I knew it was coming. I’ve known for many months now, wondering when it would hit and dreading it. It is been almost a year since my parents have passed and as I look back now at how I was feeling and compare it to now, I find myself in a very different place. Although the pain of losing them is so fresh, I feel that I am more thankful than ever to have those whom I have in my life now. I am endlessly thankful for the happiness I gained over this year, and I am thankful for such a wonderfully supportive cocoon of people that have enveloped my family and me. Life isn’t always fair; sometimes you get splinters sliding down a rainbow.
Thanksgiving was really one of the star holidays for my mom. We would celebrate with a houseful of people, way too much food, plenty of chaos, and celebrations punctured by laughter and conversation. Mom would spend the day in the kitchen making sure everyone had their favorite dishes, batting hands that tried to get into the food, and attempting to tell jokes that were not really funny. She reminded dad to vacuum the living room, turned on music way too loud, and swatted away my dad’s hand when he would pinch her buns. My dad would spend the day with a naughty gleam in his eyes. He would try to get a little taste of food before it was served, sneak up on my mom and startle her, and would always make our Thanksgiving toast. After dinner we always played board games, insisted upon by… yours truly. It is easy to picture what this looked like in my house. My dad, being overly competitive, and strategic. My mom, whose moral compass always points due north, found herself naughty enough to cheat! We would have to put a cheater watch on her, and was never me, because left in my hands, not only would I let her cheat… I would do it too… But better! This year I wonder who will be the first to steal a bite of pie will before it is even served. Well it will probably be me… But it will be sad not to see my dad’s grubby thumbprint there first.
Life after loss hasn’t looked the same for my family and me, but it has been good, and it has been honest. We make choices, changes, and compromises along the way as we slowly figure out what feels right for us. We will find our own unique ways of celebrating the things that are important to us, and to honor the memory of mom and dad.