In my efforts to start fresh with healthy behaviors and attitudes I've done a couple of key things: committed to more physical activity and started this blog. Doesn't sound like much, but really, it just might be enough to get me over the change curve I need in my life.
I'm excited about this change, figuring it out, writing about it... maybe too excited like looking forward to a vacation a little too much, then it can't possibly meet your expectations... I hope I can keep my expectations for change grounded in reasonably small steps.
One thing I haven't thought a lot about in the midst of all of this planning was making time for grief. My father passed away from an apparent heart attack nearly 6 months ago. It was sudden, unexpected and tore my world apart. I was also eight and a half months pregnant at the time.
I love my father very much. It was never lost on me just what a special person I had raising me. My mother was kind of his antithesis in many ways, so I grew very close to Dad and remained that way for many years. I could talk to him about anything, loved spending time with him, learning from him, even debating with him... he was quick to forgive, quick to laugh and loved those he loved very deeply.
So when my mother called us at 10:30 on the last Friday in November I knew something wasn't right. My husband took the call in another room and while he was on the phone a feeling came over me "He's gone..." I knew it, somehow. I didn't have a premonition or a vision, but I knew. It wasn't until my husband confirmed it "That was your Mom. Your Dad passed away tonight" Those words still tear at my heart when I think of them. It was over. He was gone. I would not hear his voice, hear him laugh, see him smile... Then the sinking feeling washed over me when I thought about my daughter: He won't see her... she won't know him.
I think I was in shock for about three days straight, then was in "mothering" mode for my family around me. We made the arrangements, I wrote the obituary, worked on the order of service, wrote his eulogy, contacted family... there's so much to do when someone dies. I also had to continue to work, make all of my doctor's appointments and prepare for the baby.
There was a little time for mourning, but not much. Especially when Baby came, our lives were so different and she needed us to be fully present, if not fully awake. I couldn't take time off to go have the breakdown I do desperately wanted. The loss of my father was worth tearing my hair out over, sitting in sackcloth and ash, rending of garments would have been completely appropriate. But none of that happened.
This week my grief came due... two weekends of family events, where his absence was so present... how could we all just be moving on? How could my daughter possibly be growing up in a world where he isn't here? To be alive is an amazing thing. There is no substitute for it. There is no angelic third presence between alive and dead that we get to occupy. It is stark and terrible and painful, this loss. He would have loved her sweet face, her blueberry blue eyes, her chubby little legs.
Time heals nothing. I can attest to that. Busy-ness cures nothing. Grief will have it's way. If there was ever true Love it requires mourning when it's gone. I need to wade through this heartache I've avoided for so many months. I unwillingly started that this week. I got out of the shower Tuesday night and cried so hard my eyes were still swollen and dry the next morning. How this ties to my goals for myself is that I don't think moving forward is possible with unresolved issues, un-repented wrongs, un-grieved heartache. I don't think it will ever stop coming completely, but for now I'll be giving in, wading through, and wait for the healing.