Saturday, June 15, 2013

Grief: A Rambling Post For Father's Day

My understanding of the world of grief keeps expanding.  I kinda wish it wouldn't.  When I wrote about Mother's Day I was thinking about mothers whose children had died.  I wrote about the possibility of staying firmly in the good memory parts and how difficult or easy that might be.

Someone wrote a comment.  My post for Father's Day has to change.  Father's Day is like so many holidays.  They are everywhere.  You can't avoid them.  If they are a trigger for sadness or anger you either duck and run or deny or cry or rant or maybe all of that. 

My daughter's best friend died at the age of 36 in June 2012.  This is his father's first Father's Day without him. My daughter asked me what should say.  Something.  Say something. His Dad is going to be thinking about him. Honor that.  So many fathers crying for their dead children.  Hopefully they know it's okay to cry.

What I realized is that Father's Day is also a difficult day for many mothers.  How do you get through Father's Day if your husband has died and you have to explain to your children why their Daddy isn't coming home?  You have to deal with your own grief and your children's as well.  You have to find the energy to creatively comfort them while finding some comfort for yourself.  Come to us, comfortless comfort.

Father's Day can be a difficult day for little children who don't entirely understand about death.  It can be a difficult day for grown up children.  I saw a post on Facebook. Someone wished their father in heaven a Happy Father's Day and said she will always be Daddy's little girl.  Little sons and daughters need a father's love and advice but so do big sons and daughters.

Now I'm starting to feel like Mrs. Doom and Gloom. Honestly, I'm tired.  I just came home and I can't get used to coming home when Artie isn't here. My train was late and I had a big wave of self pity hit when I heard people around me calling their special folks to say they would be late.  How many times did I have the privilege - without knowing it was a privilege - to make that phone call to Artie. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts but didn't want to fail to acknowledge the date coming up tomorrow.

It doesn't mean we can't be happy.  It doesn't mean we can't throw steaks on the grill and have a picnic or see a movie.  It doesn't mean we can't tell stories.  I keep writing about these things because I want people to be aware.  Before you say, "Happy Father's Day", think about who you are talking to.  If you know someone who is struggling, don't back away.  Talk about the person that has died.  Offer to take a kid out somewhere to do guy things. 

I think I'm feeling grouchy today.  I want my words to smooth out and they won't.  Artie used to call it the rumbling under the volcano.  Death sucks.  That's the bottom line.

Remember that whether father, child, widow, they all remember.  You don't help by being silent.  Dead or alive Father's Day is a time to celebrate what the true meaning of fatherhood is.  Layers.  Holding it all.  Allowing other's to hold it all. this awkward post I'm myself again.  May you find the way to put the loneliness in the forgetting place and all the joyful and funny memories in the remembering place.  Fathers and daughters, fathers and sons.  If you were lucky enough to have that be a beautiful relationship for you treasure that.  Maybe I'm struggling because I didn't have a loving father. Maybe I'm struggling because it's my nature to struggle - and laugh at myself for still struggling.

Ramble ramble ramble.

 I hope on Father's Day something makes you smile, even if it's my own inadequate self.   xo

1 comment:

  1. There is nothing, NOTHING inadequate about you. We are all so lucky to have you, to be inspired, encouraged and understood by you.