When my dad died last month, it was awful. It was really hard. It was unexpected and crazy and maddening and horrible. No one expected it, and after the first stroke, there were weeks of hope and worry and struggle and mountains of joy and depths of despair. We thought and hoped that he would be able to make a recovery from the first, huge stroke. But it was not to be... he had two additional strokes two weeks later, and then two days after that, he passed away.
We all handle our grief in our own way... just as we are all individuals, so are the ways in which we grieve.
For me, I've been doing ok, mostly taking lots of opportunities to talk to Dad when I feel his presence, or dreaming about him and waking up knowing he's near. I have cried, but I'm mostly over the crying part now, and just getting back into the day to day of living life. I hum along and have some sad days, but in general, I'm getting along ok.
Then something will happen that gives a gut-punch and knocks the wind right out of me.
Yesterday, I was trying to take some pictures on my phone, and I was out of space. So in an effort to free up some space, I went into the video portion of my photo albums. I intended to delete some videos, because they take up a lot of space.
The thing is, I had kind of forgotten about how debilitated Dad was in the last two weeks of his life. I had forgotten about his paralysis, his inability to talk, his inability to feed himself. The tubes and wires. The droopy face that didn't look at all like him. The Dad that I have been talking to and dreaming about lately was the vigorous and vital man who could do whatever he wanted. Not the sick one.
So to see these images really shook me. And in a flash I was back in that horrid hospital again, sitting by Dad's bedside, willing him to try, to not give up.
I had to sit down for a moment, and get my heart back to beating normally. Then I talked to my Dad some more, and then was able to go about my business of the day.
I didn't delete any of these videos, as it turned out. I deleted a bunch of photos instead, to free up space for what I was trying to do. I just can't bring myself to delete these, even though I don't really want to watch them either. Maybe someday I'll figure out what to do with them. Until then, they stay safely tucked away in my phone.
And Daddy, I love you, whether you were young, old, healthy, sick or whatever. And I'm glad you're with me all the time now.