Loss is hard
Sadly last year, almost a year ago, I lost my dad unexpectedly. It was hard then, and in some ways it has only gotten harder. I can’t even explain what its like to loose a parent. Loss seems to always be around you, in movies and tv, or someone you know, but you don’t ever expect it to happen to you. You definitely aren’t ready for it when it does happen, and you’re never quite sure if you are handling it the right way. Still to this day, it seems like I just haven’t talked with him, and then reality hits…. like a brick in the chest, that hes gone. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I almost sit in a trance for a minute, then continue on. I don’t know if how I’m handling it is right, but I don;t ever think there is a “right” way. My dad was only 60, and I had seen him that morning as I dropped off my dog with my parents for the day. Most the day is a blur, expect for all the events that happened around the time my dad passed. They just pop up like the most vivid memory, and I wish it was the only thing I could forget. But as my husband reminds me, I have to remember the things that remind me of him, and let that be a happy memory. “We have to keep his memory alive by doing the things we always did with him” my husband always says. He’s right, we do, that doesn’t make it any less hard for me.
The flowers and gifts that came made it harder. Who doesn’t love flowers and goodies? But when you get them for this reason, you want to just throw it all in the trash. We got a huge bakery basket full of cookies and muffins, and at first I felt awful for enjoying them. Then I could hear my dads voice saying, “Eat those, go enjoy that cookie its your favorite”.
At first I would look through all the photos, especially our wedding ones, and smile. They made me happy that I have some many memories treasured on paper. Now? Its hard. I can’t look at any recent photos, only old photos of him as a young man. I think thats different for everyone. You have to find what makes you happy and hold onto that. Life moves on, and it seems as if sometimes you can be stuck, or going through the motions, but as I have heard numerous times, it never gets easier, you just learn to live with it. It’s true, you go through each day, some days better, some days worse, but you have to move forward.
He was everyone’s everything, my dad would drop anything to come help you. He was the best.
I am happy to say that almost every week, we spent time with my parents. I am so thankful that instead of going out and partying at the time, we would hang with my parents. It became a pretty standard friday thing, drop the dog off for “grandparent” playday, go to work, get off work and my husband and I would head to my parents. The BBQ would be going, cookies in the oven, whatever it was, it was with my parents. Dinner would continue into movies on the sofa until someone fell asleep and then we would finally head home around 11 at night. IT WAS THE BEST. My dad was the best. He was everyone’s everything. Needed your leaky faucet fixed? He would drop everything to come help you. Our house has so many things he helped with, and so I sometimes find myself staring at our baseboards, and then i start crying because he helped put those in, but then I smile knowing hes everywhere.
That day, just moments after we were told my dad was lost in the hospital, it was probably the worst moment of my life. I looked at my mom, and I said “no funeral”. We decided that funerals are upsetting, and no one wants to feel worse, and thats not what someone passing should be about. Why mourn them and be sad for the day they died, when you should be celebrating their life. We held a small celebration at my parents house and no one was allowed to wear black. We held a small prayer circle in the backyard, then we went inside and just told stories about his life. I heard stories from when he was young that I had never heard, and it was such a cheerful and upbeat day, as much as it could be. Some people would arrive and they didn’t want to disturb us, and I would immediately say no, come in and grab some food, because that was my dad. My dad was always so welcoming, he invited anyone over and offered them drinks, food, whatever. He was always so willing to make sure everyone else had what they needed before himself. We could be having a family dinner, and a friend would call, he would invite them over to join us, everyone was always welcome.
Why I dedicated this blog to him
Gyms Girl was a name that was inspired by my dad. You see, as I would be rushing out to the gym, my dad would call out to me, “Off to see Gym again huh?” and then chuckle. So the name Gyms Girl was born. I felt I needed something new, a new direction and purpose, and I thought a blog where I could share all my insights, and just random things with people would be a great way to honor my dad and the way he was always welcoming and helping others.