Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Letter

This is an assignment from the GriefShare support group that I am in. We are supposed to write this and give copies to friends. I choose to share it this way.
I realize some might find it awkward, so it's here if you want to read it.

To my friends,

This past year has been the hardest in my life. My Dad died suddenly and unexpectedly in March. We did not even get to say goodbye to him. Even though it has been almost eleven months, I (and my family) am still hurting. Some days are okay and others I don't want to get out of bed. It is going to take my family and I a long time to recover from our loss. Please don't rush us.

I want to say thank you to those who have supported me and grieved with me. Thank you for understanding when I have been aloof and angry and sad. Thank you for continuing to be there for me. To those who brought food, and sent cards and did other things to make our family's life easier - thanks so much.
Please understand if I have not been a good friend during this time. I simply have not had the energy to keep up with phone calls and visits. It is not because I don't care about you.

Right now, we (my whole family) need your prayers. And even if you don't know what to say, a hug or listening ear is great. Don't be scared by my tears. They are necessary.
And Please don't be afraid to mention my dad to any of us. Especially to my little sister and my children. They need to hear how wonderful he was. It hurts more when you pretend he didn't exist. He was a wonderful man and we need to talk about him. It hurts so much to know that my dad never got to meet my daughter. Having her this year was a wonderful thing - it gave us all some light at the end of the tunnel. But it was very difficult as well. The stress of grieving and having a newborn was more than I could handle somedays.

Slowly things are getting easier. But I realize there is no magic number.
I know that God has a plan. Even if it doesn't make sense to me. Like Rick said at my dad's funeral: God doesn't make mistakes - his timing is perfect - even if we don't get it. Dad trusted this. We need to as well. In his wallet he carried around a piece of paper with the verse Isaiah 41:10.

Please continue to check in. A simple note or phone call or visit lets me know you care. Things are never going to be the same again, especially for my mom and sister. We all need lots of time and patience.
And sometimes some practical help. If you want to help out with something, tell us. Don't expect us to ask for help. We won't.

Don't be afraid to mention this to me. I am putting it out there on purpose.
Thanks for reading and for continuing to pray for us.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Little boys

A quote from my three year old.

Son - Do you have a penis mommy?
Me - No, just boys have penises.
Son - lots of boys?
Me - Yes. (trying not to laugh)

We have had MANY conversations like this. He just can't believe that girls don't have a penis.

He's also learning how complicated the English language is.
After my husbands' mom left yesterday he said - "I miss Grandma so well".

At least he doesn't ask for Beer anymore!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blah Thursday

So many things I want to write about, but don't think I'll get it all out today:

My mother-in-law was here for the past two weeks. She left this morning. It was SO nice to have some adult company during the day. She helped me with the kids, did dishes, laundry, swept, let me get some extra sleep, etc etc. My husband's family live on the East Coast so we usually only get to see them once a year. We usually go there in the summer so we can visit with everyone. But this year, I didn't want to travel with a newborn so his parents came to visit in late summer. Then my MIL came out for this visit because the price was right and to spend some more time with the kids. It was great! My son made her read him so many stories - I'm sure she was tired of reading but he loved it!

I am going to have to get out more - having someone around to talk to makes you feel so lonely when they're gone. I love my kids, and talking with my son is great, but he's still only 3!
To top it off, we all now have colds. Perfect. I just mentioned the other day that we've been so healthy this winter so far. Usually it seems like my son has a constant cold during winter, but this one was good. Until now. Oh well.

I have so many other thoughts I want to get out, but am out of energy.
Plus I still have to figure out what to make for supper. So, I hope to return to faithful blogging soon. One of these days I will actually write more than one post in a week.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prepare yourself

grief  /grif/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [greef] Show IPA

1. keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
2. a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

I have joined a Grief Share group at the church we have been attending.
I went to the first meeting last night. It was quiet, a bit uncomfortable, but good. I'm sure we will all warm up to each other in the coming weeks.
I think it is going to be a good thing for me to actually DEAL with some things rather than pushing them away to deal with "later on".

Prepare to be inundated with quotes, comments and thoughts all pertaining to GRIEF.

Grief is a normal process that will take as much time as it takes. I will not allow others to tell me how long I should be grieving. Or allow others to tell me how I should be grieving. It is an individual, complicated thing.
I am going to do what I need to do. I am going to allow God to show me Compassion and Grace and work with me through this process.
Even Jesus experienced grief. I am not weak because I am grieving. I loved my dad. He died. I am sad.
And I am not over it just because it's been 10 months. Some days it feels like it was yesterday.

Last night I told my husband, when you don't ask about or mention anything about my dad, it feels like you don't care.

I know he cares and is sad as well. But that's how I feel.

If you know someone who's grieving (this is not a call for attention to myself - I know whoever reads this loves me and most of my friends have been wonderful in this way) just send a note or call or let them know you are thinking of them and missing the person they lost too.

That's all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a new year

2010. I cannot believe Y2K / New Years 2000 was ten whole years ago. I remember that night vividly. I was in grade 12. Excited for everything to come. We had a party at my friends house, hung out, watched some movies, ate some food and thought we were so mature and cool.

I had so many plans and dreams. I was going to move out with some friends for awhile, travel the world and then go to school. I was going to become a famous photojournalist and not settle down for a long time.

It's so funny how plans change. I did move out with friends, travelled and went to school in Scotland and came home and went to University. But then I got married, quit school, and worked in a flower shop, as a nanny and eventually became the community librarian. Now, I'm back where I started with two kids of my own. I love my life, but I honestly didn't think I would settle down in the same town I grew up in. It's just worked out this way.

I always knew I wanted to get married and have kids. I just thought it would be a bit later in life. If you had told me I would be where I am now, I would have laughed. Yet I am living a wonderful life. If I had to do it all over again, I would.

I do long for adventure, and maybe someday we will move, at least temporarily somewhere exciting. Right now, we are where we should be. I can't imagine leaving now. I need to be close to my mom, sister and grandma. We need each other more than ever.

I am so lucky that I got to spend as much time with my dad as I did before he died. When I was on maternity leave with my son, we only had one car, so I would call my dad to come pick me up and we would go hang out at my parents house. He would take me shopping at Costco and my son got to know him really well. I will always be thankful for that. Had we not been living around here I wouldn't have known my dad as well. I think I would have a lot of regrets if we had moved away.

I have so many thoughts for the New Year. But right now, they are pretty concentrated on my dad. How hard 2009 was. What a rotten thing it is to lose someone unexpectedly. How badly I wish I could have said goodbye and told him how much he meant to me and all of us.
I'm also trying to reconcile that 2009 was a wonderful year. My beautiful daughter was born. That makes it a great year. This is a difficult thing to process.

So here's to a New Year. Full of promise and hope. I know God has a lot of things in store for our family and me individually. There's a lot to look forward to. And Like I've said before: every day that I am missing my dad is another day closer to seeing him again.