Friday, November 19, 2004
A daughter's grief observed
It hasn't been quite four months since my father passed away, and I find his loss affecting me in many ways.
The grief for my father seems to be like a dark cloud. Sometimes it overhangs my life with dense cover, blanketing everything with sadness. Other times it recedes and even dissipates to the point where life is sunny and I think of him fleetingly or even happily.
The only predictable thing about it, though, is that it is unpredictable. I can be going about my business fairly cheerfully, only to be suddenly blindsided by the dark cloud.
My sister Lisa told me that the other day, she was singing along to a Mariah Carey song as she drove, when she was suddenly and quite unexpectedly blindsided by the grief, and she burst into tears.
That has happened to me so many times. Sometimes it's an unbidden memory, image, or even scent that triggers the feeling...but I suppose it's fitting that most often it's music, because music was such a huge part of my father's life.
When it happens, I completely give in to it. I find that letting the tears flow freely is healing and restorative.
I suppose it's like other forms of pain and loss I've experienced in my life. Life does go on--in fact, it sweeps along like a raging river, whether you like it or not. You smile, and laugh, and enjoy. But that grief will always be there; sometimes a dense cloud cover, sometimes only a wispy cloud. But never far away.