Grief is a complex thing.
When you lose someone the obvious grief comes first. The person you love is gone from physical life and the presence, voice, touch, conversation, interaction is painfully missed.
Time inevitably moves forward, the world still turns but the grief refuses to diminish. A moment can usher in waves more painful than the first crash. The smallest trigger has the power to cripple – a song, a photo, a fleeting scent. To survive, you learn to cope and it becomes your new normal.
Just when you’ve learned to cope, the secondary grief hits without warning. What about all the material items tied to the one you love? The shop he built with his own hands that contains collections of treasures that were pure gold to him.
The unfinished projects, the ones with brilliant futures that faded as the mind of it’s master faded. The three Ford tractors he kept at all times because to be a collector you needed at least three. The photos hung that held his fondest memories.
What about the dream house he built with his wife that was supposed to become their retirement paradise? Complete with all the best items collected together through the years.
The cork board overflowing with family photos, the sauna where they’d relax after a day of yard work, the picture windows with the sunset view of a lake; what about those?
How do you move past the realization he only got 3 years in his Eden, but you’ve had the comfort of coming back to this place that holds the memories, the joy, the things?
My dear friend Amanda lost her father two and a half years ago and I’ve watched her go through so much grief. Cried as she painfully said goodbye at his funeral. I’ve held her and cried with her on his birthday, the anniversary of his death or a random Thursday.
Today, on Father’s Day, I listened as she told me what hits hard on days like this.
“I’m sad for myself, I’m sad for my mom, I’m sad for my son. It’s tough. I miss arguing with him over what to cook for breakfast and him telling me what to do. I miss the things I used to hate. We argued because we were so much alike. My mom always said, you are your father’s daughter. I don’t know, I just miss the shit out of him everyday.”
Now it’s time for her family to let go of the physical things. The dream home has sold. Does the grieving process start all over in a new way? As they sell the home and possessions they’ve clung to for years, is there an answer?
To my strong, beautiful friend Amanda, her family and all those struggling with today, my heart goes out to you. Much love.