My dad died suddenly 1 month ago this week. That is what is obit read: Suddenly. He was 61. In fair health. His car swerved off the road and hit a tree. Probably due to a seizure. About 200 yards from the street that my parents live on. A short walk. According to the M.E., it was over instantaneously. Lights out, dad. Game over. I am grateful for the last 5 years most of all, and the time we had together. Mostly driving in the car, singing and laughing. A lot of our good times happened in a car. I wish I could hear him laugh just once more; that is my special grief these last few days.
Grief is a wild fire; some days it consumes everything in its path, and some days it’s contained. Firefighters of my mind circling the grief zone: a burned out shell of a crater in my being that was once filled by the lively spirit of my dad. These mental heroes hose down the borderlands, watching for the hot spots to flare up- coals simmering beneath a surface wet with tears.
If you are grieving, or know someone who is, give yourself or that person the space you need to express your sadness and loss. Journaling and meditations are helpful. Overeating and over-drinking, probably not so helpful. Speaking from experience, I am not only sad, but also feel like shit, physically.
Hang in there. We will get through it. I believe my Sweet Bird- poor two and a half year-old, suffering from a grieving mother- when she says, ‘You’ll be ok, mommy.’ Then she puts her arm around me and kisses my head. I allow her comfort to wash over me and quench another hot spot. We lay there together and watch a movie in bed, snuggled under a blanket in the cool air-conditioning and I know she is right and my dad would say the same thing. I will be OK. We will all be OK.