I miss my dad. I find myself trying not to think about him because whenever I do, I’m sobbing. I know how very lucky and blessed I was to have him for so long… especially after his fall three years ago. Little did I know that the last time I saw him (in February, 2018) would be the last time I saw him.
I went into his room in the rehab hospital that last time, and held his face in my hands as he had held mine so many times before. I kissed him. I left the room and fell into my mother’s arms in the hallway, in tears.
I knew. I knew. I knew.
There’s a photo that I snapped of him. I don’t know why I took it exactly…
The nurse and I were helping Dad regain his footing. After his surgeries, he was a different person. No, that’s not exactly right.
He was… softer… dearer… more vulnerable.
He had to literally learn to walk again without tripping over his own feet, which is what sent him to hospital in the first place. He tripped over a vacuum cord.
The nurse was on one side, I was on the other.
Dad seemed to be going pretty good and I stepped back and watched him walk away. Then I snapped this photo.
As I went to get it for this post, I was transported back to that moment… when I was so proud of him… and so afraid.
And I’m sobbing… big, snot-dripping-down-my-face sobbing.
Some might say not to look at it. I usually don’t. But I kept it. Because, I knew.
My children have a photo of their late father that they enlarged, mounted, and used at his funeral. Someone thought to step back and take a photo of him standing in a mountain stream. He loved the mountains.
It reminds me of how alike they (my children) and I are…
There is such poignancy in a photo of a person who is no longer here… walking away… into the mystery.
Okay, let me tell you why I called you here today. 🙂
It began with a book that Mom suggested for my sister and me, as we navigate life without dad. Remember, Mom is Dr. Mom, marriage and family therapist, former Volunteer Services Manager for Hospice, and life-long learner. She has an incredible wealth of knowledge both in her head and on her bookshelves.
The book is called Back To Life: Your Personal Guidebook to Grief Recovery by Jennie Wright, RN, GC-C. Sis and I immediately went to Amazon, where we learned the book was no longer available in print. We both combed the internet in search of it… still no luck, except in Kindle, which she ordered. I don’t do well reading entire books online, so continued my search. I may have found a copy in a used bookstore in the States… however, it’s not my focus today. See, in my search I came across the author’s fabulous website. That is what I’d like to talk about today.
After going through the website, I came back to this:
Your grieving heart … This is probably the most important section of our entire website. If you visit no other page, we suggest that you try to read this one in its entirety. What can this page do for you? It will help you understand grief and the best ways to cope with its stresses. It may make you sad. It’s long, and pretty heavy duty. But you need to know the worst. And the best. Brighter days lie ahead. Keep going.
^^^^^ This page is filled-to-the-brim with the tools you’ll need to go through the process… again and again. <<< I say “again and again” because although the word “Recovery” is used in the title of both the book and the website, Wright never suggests that grieving ENDS. In fact, all who grieve know this but it bears repeating: Grieving is a PROCESS.
In fact, to quote the website: “The grieving process is a very personal and individual thing. Your unique relationship with your loved one and the manner in which he/she died will dictate the length and depth of your own “roller coaster ride”. As we have said several times, there is no healthy way to shorten the process; there are no short cuts to the resolution of grief. You must let it run its course.“
^^^^^ That’s the last time I’ll quote the website, as I want you to go through it yourself!
There are four main sections:
Within those headings, there are dozens of links and resources threaded throughout.
I encourage you to bookmark this website if you don’t need it right now. Sadly, we all know that one day, we’ll need it.
Or maybe… and stick with me here… you have not fully grieved a loss of the past? It happens so easily.
Of all the site’s many attributes, my favorite is the Creative Outlets section. In it, there are activities for children, as well!
I hope you find it as helpful and healing as I am…
It is a work in progress.