***DISCLAIMER/TRIGGER WARNING*** The “Grief Sucks” series is an ongoing response to my experience of a recent loss. As such, it may contain things that could serve as triggers for people who have also experienced loss. Finally, I respect that there are as many ways to grieve as there are people and I mean no offence to those who process grief differently than I do. Should you choose to stay and read, I ask only to be met with that same basic respect and understanding.
And there is more air to breathe and more capacity to breathe it.
There is the ability to go grocery shopping without having an anxiety attack at least 90% of the time. (Nope. No idea why grocery shopping became a thing but boy howdy did it ever. One becomes very glad for the canned goods one does not remember buying… “Water Chestnuts? Yup. Sure. That’ll do.”)
There is the ability to say “I miss you Dad” out loud, with a smile, maybe even a positively quaint, laughing tear when something mild reminds me of him. He thought that Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) from Star Trek: Voyager sounded like a duck, for example. And he always referred to Tom Cruise as “Stumpy.” (Not gonna’ lie. That one still makes me giggle with a special sort of mirth).
I can, it seems, now remember my father without being completely drowned in ache and misery with each and every memory. Consciously grateful each and every time this happens, it does seem this awareness and gratitude may be its own aspect of my grief…
Paperwork that involved looking at his death certificate did, just a couple of days ago, send me back on the full-tilt-busted-up-and-weird-griefy-merry-go-round for a couple of truly delightful hours…
More than a year later and it remains an ebb and flow around a centre that is the perpetual absence of him.
And that absence will forever be a thing.
I accept that. I really do. And it’s nice to remember him and laugh sometimes, not just wilt and weep, even if wilt-and-weep will still happen.
The universe is a vast and still largely unknown thing and I have read enough sci-fi, and delved deeply enough into spirit, to accept that he can be gone from here but that he might be somewhere – or somewhen – else.
(My money is as cleanup and shortstop with the New York Yankees circa 1950, maybe?)
It’s been over a year and I feel more human again.
But my fridge still gets emptier than it used to.
And, grief still sucks.