September 18th, 2015.
Today I am wishing my Father a very Happy Birthday. It is his first Birthday since he passed away and it hit me a bit.
Grief and loss are such powerful emotions, and they are also very unpredictable and temperamental. There is no ‘right’ way to go through the process, and there is no ‘being finished’ with the process. It is an ongoing, evolving life of its own.
I’ve managed pretty well over the last few months since he died. Things changed dramatically within me, things I never realized even needed or could be changed. The loss of my father was the catalyst to some other losses, but ones that were necessary to break the toxic bindings in some relationships and work towards building healthier connections.
His death brought me closer to myself than I’ve ever been, and that also brought with it its own collective of grief feelings. Facing my own life, my choices, my losses, my gains, my everything. My Father and I had some troubling dynamics through the years, but we also learned how to work with them, and ultimately came to a safe, connected place where we both agreed to be who we were and support each other in that fully. So, really, I felt at peace with his death, but death isn’t only for the dying. There was a cathartic change and healing that took place in me that I still haven’t even scratched the surface of, and it isn’t what most people talk about when they talk about death. But I’ve found some people to share this experience with, as it was my first time losing a parent. And like the initiation into any special club, I didn’t realize how it felt, and what others had gone through until it happened to me.
I sometimes feel as if I haven’t grieved enough since it is not as painful as some moments in my life have been. But, then I realize that it’s not as painful because there was an incredible grace and beauty to the way things ended. And truly, it was only just the beginning in many ways. IT is a full, deep, earthy feeling that ebbs and flows.
Today I celebrate my Dad, all that he was, all that he wasn’t and all that we were and all that we weren’t as Father and Daughter. It’s all so beautifully important when the end of the physical connection comes. Happy Birthday Dad.