I could have chosen any little critter to illustrate my greeting. Why did I choose a spider? I guess I was thinking of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
Wise and compassionate, Charlotte sees her world – and some would argue, the entire world – in a realistic way. She knows the score.
And yet, she is magical.
Ah, heck! Maybe Charlotte is who I wish I could be… well, in human form, you know, since that’s what I am.
Today, I wish I could spin a web… all the way to the West Coast of the US. That’s where my small family has gathered to pay respect to Dad before scattering some of his ashes.
But alas, Ontario, Canada, is still under lockdown. In fact, it was supposed to lift next week but got extended to June-something-eth. Also, the border is closed. And, I’ve only had my first dose of the vaccine, while the rest of my family is fully vaccinated.
Such is my lot at the moment.
My husband and I will be joining them via FaceTime which, as I’ve told you before, is both a blessing and… not a curse… but… awkward. <<< Especially when dealing with the raw emotions of grief.
Three months ago, when I couldn’t get there after he died, I was heartbroken.
Today, I’m pissed.
I have to say that grieving like this – from here – has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
Since moving to Canada, I’ve done a lot of difficult things.
And, I’ve learned a lot of harsh lessons. Most of them were packed in the baggage I carried here.
People (therapists, family, friends, self) tell me to let it – the baggage – go. Let the guilt, shame and self-flagellation go.
I get it. I believe it. I do it.
And then I pick it up again.
Because everything comes back to what’s in that suitcase.
I carried it into Canada in 2000 and every time something like this happens… I open it, spread the contents out and scrutinize it, piece by agonizing piece.
Every wedding, birth, death, funeral, sickness, birthday, celebration, job loss, need a ride, need a babysitter, need their Mom, cancer diagnosis, suicide attempt, etc. etc. etc.
What would my dad say about all this?
You’re thinking too much.
Let’s take the suitcase to the landfill. Run over the thing. Set fire to it. Leave it there.
Twenty years is a long time, Sher.
You can DO this.
He’d remind me that there’s a pandemic going on and as much as he wishes the family could be together, he understands we cannot.
Every word would be infused with love. Because HE was infused with love.
He still is.
Oh Dad, I miss you sooooooooooo much!
So, later, I will gather with my family in the only way we can… and we will celebrate Dad’s life. Because he was – and is – cherished.
And that baggage? Maybe I’ll ask Dad if he can help me… in spirit, you know. And, we’ll get this thing done. Because, I’m super tired of dragging it around.