Today marks six months since my dad died. He died. It sounds so final. Most people use passed away because it sounds so much kinder for the one who’s hurting. But I really only use it when I want to be kind to myself – when I want to push off the harsh reality that my dad is actually gone – or when I mention his death to somebody but don’t want to draw their pity. Passed away seems less final. And passed is a better word; after all, my dad has passed on into eternity.
So do I have a big revelation or reflection at this six month mark? Not as I would have hoped.
Just more of the same. Sadness, tears, memories, anger, regrets (maybe – at least wishing I would’ve said or done things differently), realizations, missing him, and yes, still moments of shock. Sometimes the tears start because of him, other times they continue on because of him.
Drawing is not a new thing for me; I have done it for the past twenty-five years. But often years would pass without me touching it. About a month ago, I picked up a sketching pencil and pad and started drawing again. I have done more in the last month than I have my entire life. Sometimes melancholy is a helpful “tool” for artists. It’s been said that it pulls out the creative side. As with all things, there’s a balance. In my experience too much can be a road block, or in this case, a creative hindrance. Grief certainly opens the door to melancholy. But if grief consumes me I put away the pens and paper. Somewhere there’s a happy medium. For now, it helps give me an outlet for my grief. (My dad was always a big supporter of my art and music abilities.)
My husband was called out of state on a business trip this week. I was a mess before he left. How will I hold down the fort? I will have no support or help. How will I do all of this on my own? (Only by the grace of God has the week been fairly pleasant – although it’s not quite over. Ha!) I realized just how much I need him. How much I depend on him. Through this, I understand maybe a tiny fraction of what my mom must be feeling – having lost her beloved husband – her support, her best friend, her company, the love of her life. I cannot imagine!
Hold tight to those you love. Spend every minute you have. Soak in those opportunities while you still have them. Cherish them. Don’t get so distracted by everything else that you only have the past because you’ve wasted all of the present. Take pictures. Talk and laugh. Call them. Play games. Just sit in silence together. Don’t waste your time on bitterness, anger, resentment – it’s hard enough losing someone on good terms; make things right. Go on that trip. Go see them. Hug them tight. Don’t spend so much money, spend time. Live in each moment.
If you have lost someone dear to you, I understand. It’s a very tough, long road – often times lonely. If someone you love has lost a dear one: be compassionate, be patient and be considerate. Do not give them a time frame and don’t assume you will make them sad if you talk about it (they’re already sad). They want to talk about their loved one; they need to. Don’t forget about them. Check on them – long after the first few months. That’s when they need you the most.
That’s my rambles.