Dad, thank you for your patience

I miss my dad.

When I’m working in the yard, or–as I discovered–painting walls, I feel like I’m sharing time with him. Naturally, I will experience grief the instant I realize that it’s his words I hear in my thoughts as I’m cutting in the edges. He was the one who taught me to do that—forever ago.

He also taught me, if I’m to make something, do something for others, or perform a simple task such as dish washing, then I should take pride in my work.

Ha! The little perfectionist that sits on my shoulder took that lesson a bit too much to heart. However, it has served me well on many occasions, and I have finally learned to keep my mouth shut when others aren’t doing it my way. Well, except for my husband.

Next month, will be six years since we said goodbye to my dad. Actually, if we count all the time he was stuck in a mind full of confusion, and not knowing who we were, the time has been much longer.

I found that grief is a process that continues. There isn’t a time limit. Not to discourage anybody living through the process of grief, it never seems to end, but we adapt to a new way of living. Our loved ones are with us in the love we feel in our hearts, the lessons they taught us, and the memories of shared experiences.

My personal favorite is having a dream with one of my loved ones in it. Even tough it was a dream, they were there to share it with me.

My choice of dealing with my grief, is to do something my dad would be proud of.

Do something my sister would have laughed while doing.

Pull on the determination my grandma taught me when I get into a pickle.

As for my brother, hmmmm…being my big brother, he tortured me most of my childhood. He liked music that I didn’t hear any musical notes–but I have to give him a break–if it wasn’t David Cassidy or Donny Osmond, it wasn’t music. Two of my children could have been raised by him. They share many of the same interests. Just as my brother played the chords to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, so did our oldest son–thirty years later. Just as my brother was thrilled about Dr. Who, so is our daughter. Because of this, my memory of him will remain strong.

My tears? When I have them, it isn’t for my loss, but for the sweet memories I have of them. Sure, I miss their physical presence, and to be able to hear their voices, but they are in my every day life in the things I do and enjoy.

Grief may not be fleeting, but life can eventually be enjoyed a different way.

May you find some peace today.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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14 Responses to Dad, thank you for your patience

  1. myobt says:

    Lost my mother nearly 2 years ago, and your post really resonated with me. Beautifully done. Wishing us both peace.

    • April says:

      My sister was my most recent loss. We lost her a year ago. I’ve been having a tough time working through this one, but each day is a little better. I truly wish you peace as well.

  2. aviets says:

    I love that you have such good memories of your dad, and that you’re able to remember your missing family members with such peace. The only close family members I’ve lost are my maternal grandparents, and the last few years of their lives were so filled with seriously nasty stuff that all my good memories were called into question. It’s a recurring issue for me – when I dream of my grandmother I wake up wishing those last four years or so could just be erased so that I could enjoy the good memories. -Amy

    • April says:

      The parents of my parents were divorced and remarried, so I had a bunch of grandparents. Most passed away when I was much younger, and none of them lived close by, so we never saw much of them. The only grandparents close by were my dad’s dad, and my mom’s mom and step-dad. Anyway, it is the normal cycle of life, but it’s still not easy. I have the awful dream of my brother’s death, and seeing his face. That’s not a dream I enjoy. One day, I hope to have a dream of him where he doesn’t die. As far as forgetting the ugly stuff that older people suffer from, is a rough one to work through. I have to seriously focus on stopping those thoughts and replacing them with happier memories. Rough, but doable.

      • aviets says:

        I think if it were just that my grandparents had difficulty in old age I could deal with that fairly well. Near the end of their lives some very ugly family secrets came out that made me question every good memory I thought I’d made as a child. Really gross.

        I’m really sorry you had such a traumatic experience with the death of your brother. I can’t even imagine how you move past something like that. But I think you’re doing an admirable job of doing just that.

        • April says:

          Oh—the secrets. Yes, my mom had some to tell me about her mother, some of which I can’t get the images out of my mind. Of course, she resented her mom because her mom resented her. My suspicion is that my mom may have been unplanned. My grandma used her as a gopher (go-fer) and as a nanny to her siblings. The only grudge I have ever held was against my grandma. She could be a rotten woman when she wanted.

          Then we had a little surprise on the day of my mother in law’s funeral. She had been married before, and my husband’s oldest sister had a different father. Not sure why this was so secretive. What was she ashamed of? After all, she divorced my husband’s dad when he was 7.

          My mom’s stories are gross, but since she always dreaded events that my grandma was involved in, we never felt close to her. I have one or two memories of being grateful for my grandma’s help, but that’s where it ends.

  3. Elouise says:

    April,
    Your post is lovely–as is your way of dealing with each departed member of your family. No myths, just focusing on or waiting to discover the memorable parts that feed your soul and keep them close. Thanks so much!
    Elouise

  4. tric says:

    Grief is such a very long road, as I have found out this year. I sympathise with your loses, and I hope your memories are keeping you strong. Lovely post.

  5. I agree. No time limit on grief. And it never really goes away. It ebbs and flows in different ways and in different forms around us. Beautiful post April.

  6. Gallivanta says:

    May you have peace today, too.

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