You probably don’t check in here much anymore. And who can blame you. When the content isn’t refreshed multiple times per week, why bother?
I am posting to say that I know, I’m sorry, and that writing is hard in this season. It’s Grief, Round Two. I am able to (sort of) sleep. I am able to get up and shower and do laundry and do dishes and make breakfast and clean up kid clutter. Today I was able to update my syllabus as the semester starts next week. I am managing Jack’s transition from hospital to home to returning to school.
What I am not doing, dear reader, is living out loud. I’m living softly, weirdly, incompletely, one day at a time.
I do lots of pondering, remembering, musing, and feeling. I am feeling the hurt. I am forgetful and spacey, and making plenty of mistakes.
After my dad’s passing and up through the funeral, I was on a spiritual high. I honestly felt lifted up and really pretty buoyant. Since the funeral, though, the adrenaline has ebbed. The crush of friends and well-wishers has calmed. Regular life has returned. And I’ve been struck by the sense of enormous loss that follows me around.
Before I forget them, reader, I’m going to write down a few things that have happened in the last little while:
- I dreamed my dad was at Jeff’s parents’ house, in their kitchen. He was loading up a dinner plate with tri tip roast and flank steak. “Oh boy, how is this going to play out?” I wondered to myself, thinking of my dad’s inability to eat anything solid for the last month of his life. But in the dream he wasn’t sick, weak, or starving. He was healthy. I looked over where he stood by the sink and saw him chugging Sprite straight from a 2 liter bottle, which is bonkers because my dad cared nothing for Sprite. But it was a happy image which, my sister remarked, represents that my dad is “catching up.”
- I felt that my dad was close to us on Christmas Eve. Like, literally close by. I knew it. It didn’t seem odd, but comforting and amazing. It happened during our annual variety show, where the kids tell jokes and play songs on the piano. My nephew, Auguste, danced and did the signs to Mele Kalikimaka as we all sang along, which was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. When he finished, we all cheered and I distinctly heard my dad’s voice calling out a whoop from behind me. I actually turned around and looked behind me, at which point I remembered and thought, “Oh yeah, he’s not here.” I figured my ears were playing tricks on me. My sister, Sarah, and her family brought my mom to my house on Christmas Day. My mom told me that after opening presents that morning, she and Sarah had watched the recording of Auguste’s variety show number. “I heard Dad’s voice on the video. It was when we were all cheering.” She started to weep. This experience taught me that his spirit still exists, that he isn’t far away, and that he still knows what we are doing and rejoices in his family. It isn’t easy to describe the beauty I felt from that single audible cheer. Some people may regard me as a weirdo for a) having this happen to me and b) talking about it. If it makes me weird, I’m comfortable with that. I heard my dad’s voice and he sounded so, so happy.
- The goodness of people astounds me. Friends from all the various corners of my life came to the viewing, the funeral, the cemetery, my mom’s house, my house, my sisters’ houses. They brought hugs, chocolate, dinners, bread, soup, homemade rolls, sweets, fruit, sympathy cards, and compassion. They sent flowers, gifts, and stories with expressions of love. I’m blown away at the love that exists in the world, both in happy times and in emotional and painful times. People are so good, especially my people. They have reached out to me and my family with what I feel is an extension of Jesus’s love.
This is the end of my letter, dear reader. I’m hopeful to be in a state where more writing can happen. *Dear HF, Please bless my brain cells*