I’ve been off lately. Irritable. Blah. Breathing seems harder than usual.
This has happened before. It usually takes me a day or two to notice it. Then I say to myself, “Duh! I know what this is.”
This is the month, two years ago, that I lost the first man I ever loved. My dad.
He was a marathon runner, pilot, competitive sailor, bike riding, tennis playing, eat healthy, P90X’er, golfing, tackle anything kind of guy. I pretty much believed he would live to be at least 95.
No such luck. Cancer took him away from me, my sisters, his grandkids, and everyone else who loved him, way too early in my eyes.
He, on the other hand, was grateful for his 74 years of what he called “a charmed life.”
I know he died when he was supposed to. My higher, logical, philosophical brain knows this.
But the little girl in me who wants her daddy will just have to live with this grief.
I’ve done it before. If you’ve read my other blogs, you know I still grieve my sister who died 17 years ago.
You know what though? The pain of grief? It is actually a spotlight on the beauty of deep love.
The pain is only deep when the love is deep.
Two years ago, as the only daughter in town, I spent hours with my dad almost every day in the final weeks. It is painful to watch someone you adore die. That’s just the way it is.
And so, because I love him deeply, I choose to embrace the grief that comes with it. It rolls in heavy around his birthday, Father’s Day, Christmas, and on the anniversary of his passing.
And while I grieve, I will fill my thoughts with gratitude.
I am so thankful for the imperfect man who loved me and my sisters unconditionally, adored our kids, cheered us on, charmed everyone he met, and loved life.
Now a note to my family: Thanks for putting up with me this week while I am blah and irritable. I promise I’ll do my best to grieve cleanly, to grieve well, to allow myself to feel, so I don’t let it spill out in messy ways on you all.
Here’s to grieving! It’s an inevitable part of loving. I’ll take it.
If this was helpful, you can also check out my article, “Let Them.” The greatest advice I received from my sister.