Sunday, March 4, 2012

Growing into Grief

This week my dad would have been 73.
I would have made him a cake. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
He would have opened his presents with zeal because he loved presents.
And at some point during the party, he would have said something that made me laugh until I cried. He always did.
On Friday, I saw a friend who's dad has cancer. I asked her how she is handling it.
Her eyes filled with tears and she shook her head and said, "You know."
My eyes filled in response and I nodded and walked away.
Yes, I know.
I know how it feels to watch someone you love slip away from you. I know how it feels to know that there are unresolved issues that will never be resolved on this earth. I know how it feels to desperately want to turn back time and circumstances and be unable to.
Yes, I know.
Somewhere in these six years I've come to terms with what was.
Grief works it's way into your very marrow. Into the core of who you are. It becomes part of your choices and voice and personality. I grow into my grief and my grief grows into me.
Yes, I know.
I know that I'm grieving but he's not. That he's with Jesus, happy and whole. I miss a shadow of what really is. My dad is so much more now than he ever was on earth. All the insecurities that undermined his parenting are annihilated. He is a perfect dad.
Yes, I know.
And someday, I will know even more fully than I do now.
And someday, I won't know at all, because I'll be grieving no longer.
I won't be grieving because I'll be there.
I'll be eating carrot cake with my dad, laughing so hard,
I'll be crying.

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