Another Father’s Day is upon us and Facebook is flooded with well wishes, and the grieving. Profile pictures are being changed all through my network to, dads and kids. I’m not judging this tradition, I did it myself; every year on Father’s Day I changed my profile picture to 2 year old, pudgy faced me; hugging my dad’s smiling face. I never wrote about him, of wished him happy Father’s Day in heaven. I just changed my profile picture for 24 hours – as some sort of symbol or recognition of his continued presence in my life.
I have stopped this practice since Derrick died, but today I challenge myself with, “why?” I still miss my dad! He is still a powerful force in my present, but now when I grieve for him, it’s different. It’s surrounded by guilt, how can I grieve for him and forget about Derrick for that time?
Today I am home alone – something I avoid lately, story for another day. I am preparing the house for sale. The time has come to move forward with a different plan. I am packing and purging, and even though I live in a 320 sq ft home; I am overwhelmed by the process. The garage is full of tools and memories and there is no right answer for what to do with it all. I lasted until noon and the inevitable happened – I grabbed my computer and bolted into town. And now here I am, at Subway with a veggie sub, telling all of you what a shitty combination of emotions, I am having today.
Facebook reminded me it was Father’s Day today, and as I went through the garage I thought about my dad. If he was still alive he would be here helping me make all the hard decisions. He would be talking to me about life’s purpose and meaning. He would say things like “oh sweetie, you will never use a circular saw, give it away. We must know some young family that could use it.” I miss him, and his wise words. Then suddenly I thought about my daughter Rebecca and how much she must miss her dad today – and I feel guilty; I had my dad for 40 years, she only got hers for 19. Then my son came into my awareness and I wondered if he remembered it was Father’s Day – so I text him reminding him to call his dad. Then I looked around the garage again overwhelmed with all the choices I need to make, before I can sell. I made a list and hung it in the garage, so that family and friends can help. Purposely added to the list is “cry.” ( Squirrel thought! Man at table next to me looks very concerned. Why is that lady crying on her computer in Subway?)
It seems that as time passes, the more complicated grief gets. You finally come to terms with the fact that life indeed goes on without your loved ones. That you can hold on tight to memories and keep them active in your conversations, but the more use to making decisions, without them, that you get; that more guilt gets attached to your grief. At first you feel guilty that you are still alive, but that seems to pass because you really had no control over that part. You don’t get to decide which one of you has a heart attack or gets cancer. But making a life after them, you do own that. I am very fortunate to have people in my life that let me go through this process like the weather. Today is partially cloudy with a chance of showers in the afternoon, but it does look like the sun is peeping through – there may even be a rainbow show up.