Grief is a funny thing. I read somewhere that you don’t work through it; that it works through you. I read that it is a manifestation of love; there is no grief without love. That sounds about right. It comes in waves. Some days you can feel remarkably alright. Other days it is all you can do to take a shower and eat enough. It would be easier if you could have some advance notice on which days would be which.
I never really thought about my dad dying. I mean, I guess I did, in an abstract sort of way, the way that all adult children know that that their parents won’t live forever. But not in any real, tangible way. My grandmother had other heart attacks before the end, and my grandfather had other strokes before the end, so I guess I was just expecting some sort of warning before it came. I don’t know which is easier, having no warning but knowing he didn’t have to suffer through some long, sad decline – or having the time to get used to the idea, but knowing he was in pain. And we don’t get to choose… You just get what you are given… That doesn’t stop us from going through all the “what-if’s”, does it?
Dad’s service was nice. “Nice.” That word we use to describe things that we have no interest in participating in, but no choice but to do. The pastor asked how many of us would rather be sitting at a wedding instead of Dad’s service, and I counted myself among that group, even though I don’t really like weddings much at all. But on a scale of weddings or funerals… I’m not a fan of baby showers either, if you must know the truth… I would rather have been anywhere else though, instead of listening to people talk about him in the past tense. I’m not ready for the past tense. Yet another thing about which I have no choice.
“You gave me a forever within the numbered days.” John Green, The Fault in Our Stars