I have been overcome with grief recently with the upcoming Father's Day holiday. It is difficult to watch all of the commercials and advertisements for Father's Days gifts and showing your dad you appreciate him. I cannot even open my email, watch the news, or look at the paper for all the ads screaming "buy this for your awesome dad!" There are never any news reports or commercials on what to do when the holiday is celebrating a person you have lost. Last night I wondered how people before me have dealt with this. The silver lining is that I know I am not the first nor the last person to deal with this, and that offers me minimal solace. Thanks to a good friend, I have started brainstorming ways that I can remember and honor my dad on Father's Day instead of shrinking and ignoring it, which was my previous plan.
I cannot believe it has been over a month since my father has passed.
In the process of my healing, I have been meeting with a pastor to talk
I've learned a few things thus far.
I have learned that grief is a lot lot Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In case you are wondering, no, I am not an alcoholic. I did have to go to an AA meeting as part of my master's counseling training addictions course). It seems everyone is always comforting me with one liners such as: "take it one day at a time" and "be gentle with yourself" and "everything will be okay." Though I am grateful for the words of comfort, I can't help but think how it sounds like I may be on the 12 steps of AA. Once I let go of my grief humor (which is an awesome coping mechanism by the way), I realize that there is a certain process to grief. It's just not as clear cut. And from what I can tell, we don't get any cool coins to commemorate months of surviving the grief, as members of AA get coins to commemorate months of sobriety.
I have also learned that death changes everything. I feel as if my world has been split into the before and after of my father's life. Plans I made prior to his passing seem frivolous now.
Grief does terrible things to the spirit, body, and mind. Stress is an interesting thing. And by that I mean I hate it. My pastor said that it is my turn to experience this grief. The funny thing is that in this difficult thing called grief, I have received such an outpouring of love from my family and friends. I realized that were I not in this crisis, It's funny how that works out.
The only thing I have learned about grief, so far, is that it is far from good. But it really does take one day at a time.
Lord, so many of us are grieving the loss of a loved one during this holiday season. Thank you for friends and loved ones who care for us during our time of grief. Please continue to shine Your light into our darkness, just as You did when Christ was born. Amen.