Some people love celebrations, and I’m one of them. I’m a birthday person, a Christmas person. I even have a reminder on my phone marking the anniversary of moving into my home. I enjoy the opportunity these events afford me to pause, reflect, and plan.
Some anniversaries don’t need a little cross on the calendar, though. They are cemented in your memory, wedged in somewhere between your ID number and the colour of your first love’s eyes. For me, this is the date that my father left (this) earth. I approach 27 July with mixed feelings, the sum total of which I can only describe as grief.
Grief is missing your dad, but being happy that he isn’t suffering. It’s remembering silly inside jokes, but forgetting his scent. Feeling thankful for a life that was lived fully yet imperfectly, while also experiencing anger at the thought of all the milestones he’s not here for: that’s grief. Grief gave me entry to a club I never applied to join, a club to which membership is inevitable for us all.
I have come to know grief as a companion on this road trip called life. Most of the time it’s in the backseat, sometimes it takes the wheel. It is not a task to be completed. Instead, it is an ongoing cycle. This cycle is easy to manage most days, but still blindsides me on others.
And, yet: grief is no longer debilitating. It is part of my makeup. It nudges me to tune into my heart and ask it how it’s doing today. It reminds me that I was loved, and that I loved in return; it urges me to continue breaking down walls so that I can love completely. That way, when I grieve again (and again, and again) in future, I can honestly say that I gave my whole heart, knowing that it would not return back in the same condition. I do not want to die with a heart in pristine condition. I want to have a heart that is well-worn by love and connection, bruised and broken open by joy and love and pain, a heart that heals time and again in order to keep expanding – and for that, the price I am willing to pay is grief.
Reblogged this on @reonlouw.
Truly inspirational words that offer healing! Thank you!
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