Thursday, October 6, 2016

Grieving with Gratitude

True to form, grief comes in waves and is unpredictable. It has been nearly three years since my dad passed and there are still hours, days, and weeks that sneak up on me and are particularly weepy and difficult. This past week has been one of those stretches of time that’s rooted in the fact that I just miss my dad.

Last week Avery was having a particularly turbulent afternoon where nothing seemed to be appeasing her when we got home. Finally, I decided to lay down with her in our bedroom knowing that snuggle time if often her favorite activity after a long day. We’ve gone through this routine on many days yet this day was unique. As Avery rolled over into her snuggle spot that was close enough to me but not toooo close (#toddlerboundaries), Sloan hopped up to join us. The next few minutes that transpired are scary and yet somehow comforting.

Avery stopped crying and locked eyes with me as Sloan sat there with us. In that moment, a flood of emotion swept over me as I felt my dad more present than ever. The circle of life was staring me down as Avery snuggled so peacefully in the same space that my dad took his last breath. While I know a large part of my brain chemistry doesn’t allow me to recall a lot of the events on January 2nd, 2014 (hello, survival mode), the vision of my dad lying so peacefully when I found him that afternoon was staring right at me. It’s no surprise that it’s painful not having my dad living as Avery grows up, but there’s also no question that he makes his presence known in our lives.

The four of us spent the next few minutes together, our souls swathed together in a comforting space. It was the first time that my dad has showed up for me in Avery’s presence and as the tears streamed down my face, Aves calmly stared back at me knowing full well that the moment was a special one.
I’ve spent a lot of time with this moment in my mind over the past week. These types of situations take a lot of time for me to process and move through and I think they’re important to share. I have a co-worker this year that I’ve quickly become close with. Her energy is infectious and her warmth shines through so strongly each day that I see her. We connected on Facebook and I’ve learned through some her posts that she lost one of her beautiful daughters in a tragic accident a few years ago. My heart breaks and bursts with happiness every time that I read her loving words about her daughter because it’s so clear that they are another example of the living existing in a special place alongside those who have left us.

The other night she posted something that spoke to me so clearly and powerfully:
Image result for death is nothing at all. it does not count

Daddio, I want you to know that we love you beyond measure and feel your presence. You’re a source of comfort and strength each day and I hope in some small way that we are for you, too. I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart). 

1 comment:

  1. Sending big hugs to you! Beautiful, beautiful post. Xoxo