I’ve started and stopped this post a few times in the last week or so as I try to find the words adequate enough to express my heartbreak, sadness, shock, and grief over the devastating loss of my Dad. I realize today that there aren’t actually any words.
A lot of what my family and I are going through is difficult to even comprehend in my brain, let alone write down in cohesive, coherent sentences. There are moments of levity and laughter among the tears and heartbreak. There are moments of happiness filled with memories and good stories that are followed immediately by ugly cries and lots of swearing at God and the universe for this pain and tragedy.
This is the kind of loss I know I and my family, my Dad’s friends, and people in our universe will never get over. When a person has such a big personality and kind heart as my Dad, it is irreplaceable. I know with time things will change, the tears will be less frequent, but the feeling that a part of me is gone will always persist. When I was getting divorced people kept telling me all the time that “things will get better.” I know from the loss of a marriage that things actually don’t get better– they get different. So like that loss, I know that someday things will get different and it won’t hurt as much as it does now, almost a month from his death.
The thing about losing a loved one- no matter the relation or time you know a person- is that it really is one of the rare times in life when the goodness and beauty in others comes out. In the hours, days, weeks following my Dad’s passing, my entire family was just overwhelmed with the amount of love and support for us from far and wide. Food, notes, phone calls, messages written on Facebook or the funeral home website- all comforted us and gave us some peace. People stood hours in line at my father’s wake to pay their respects to us- he touched more lives than we really ever knew. I have been absolutely humbled by the number of cards, notes, and messages of love and support not only telling me how much people respected and liked my Dad, but for how many people I have to lean on as I walk through the fog that is grieving. It certainly doesn’t lessen the pain of losing my best friend, but it made his passing seem to feel more peaceful as a celebration of his life and how his memory and legacy will live on. It’s certainly something that has helped carry me through some of the darker moments and stand strong.
I’ve also learned that love’s all that matters- and telling the people you love is crucial. It was a blessing that my brother, mother, and I were able to tell my father we loved him one last time in the hospital, but he knew it already because every single interaction we ever had as a family for all of my years ended with ” I love you.” That is one of the biggest blessings in my life and such a gift to be able to say that about my relationship with my parents, brother, and family.
I can’t guarantee that going forward in the next few months that this blog will be as it was before with cheery updates on what’s going on in my life, house, job, or random things I find on the internet. I do vow to keep this space going not just because it gives me the outlet to work through my feelings in my own way, but also because my Dad believed in my writing and encouraged me to pursue it more vigorously and I don’t want to disappoint ( even if he didn’t read it as regularly as my mom and aunt 🙂 ).
Beautiful, Kristan , Dad was always so proud of you!
I’m sorry for your loss, Kristen. Thinking of you and your family.
This is brave and all to the good, Kristen. Wishing you healing.
Hugs. I’m so, so, so sorry you and your family are dealing with this. It makes no sense, it’s not fair, and I just hope for peace, light, and healing to your family. I like the understanding that things get different. Not better. Just… different. Your dad sounds like he was an amazing, incredible man.
Oh Kristen, how I can relate but wish neither of us had to. Your tribute to your father is so touching; it shows how close you were. Keep writing – it is a soothing outlet and helps to sort out feelings. I will keep in touch ok – Beth
I’m so sorry for your loss, Kristen. Thinking of you and your family.
Kristen, God smiled on me the day he gave me you as my daughter. Your Dad loved you so much as do I. We are and always will be so proud of you. We will get through this together and be better people for having your Dad in our lives. Love you lots.
I am just catching up on my reader… I am so, so sorry about your Dad, Kristen.