I say “yes” to the grieving process.

I have become very intimate with death and dying. Besides my grandparents, who lived into their 90s, I sat at the bedside of my friend dying of cancer in 2002 when she was only 51. I held my sister’s hand while she gave ‘birth’ to her stillborn son, I comforted my children through the death of their 7 year old playmate, and dealt with the shock  of the tragic death of my niece and nephew’s 33 year old father from a horrific car accident, just two short months ago.

And soon I will go and be at my Father’s bedside. I am looking forward to this precious time with my father and stepmother. It’s a time I knew had to come, eventually, though I am not entirely ready to say my “final” goodbyes (which really isn’t final, after all…). Of all the people whom I have lost, losing my father’s physical presence will be quite a different experience.

I will be using the 18 hour train ride to Colorado to prepare my heart and mind for the challenges of the next week. Despite the long distance, my dad and stepmother and I have been closer these past 15 years than I ever imagined possible when my mother managed to cut the link between us for 19 years. It killed me to not have my dad in my life, but as a child I had learned to bury my grief deep inside, lest I get punished by my mother. I remembered my dad the most at milestones, my graduation from high school, from college, and most profoundly the day of my wedding, when I ached to have him walk me down the aisle. But I knew I’d catch hell from my biological mother if I tried to contact him, let alone ask him to be there for my wedding day.   I ached to have him see my daughters when they were each born, but at least by then he was able to see them in pictures.

I don’t know what will happen this next week, but I do look forward to these next few days and I say “yes” to the inevitable grieving process. And while I’m not particularly religious, I do believe that we will be tenderly held in the presence of Love and it will all be as it should be.

I listen to Mumford and Sons a lot, particularly lately.  And this song is one that keeps me going when sometimes it’s hard to do so.





About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Death, Father Loss, Gratitude, Grief and Loss, Mindfulness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I say “yes” to the grieving process.

  1. ptero9 says:

    Even when we sometimes can’t tell, I think we can be a gift and a comforting presence to people who are suffering and especially those who are dying. Even in the sadness, I hope you are able to enjoy the opportunity to be with your dad in his last days.

    I have come to think of death as the final opportunity to make our peace with ourselves and with others. Death is both a loss and and a gain, I think. The absence of people in my life that have died, although painful to the point of heart wrenching, has also given me an appreciation of who they were in my life. They still, in many ways, live on in me, their influence deeper and more permanent than the span of their lives.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your journey here Casey!

    Safe travels.

  2. dweezer19 says:

    My thoughts are with you at this time. I have a similar situation but thankfully my Mother was not involved as yours was. I still will miss my Dad when he finally takes his leave of this illusion. Fortunately, my step mother and I have grown much closer in the last few years. It is comforting to know that they never are really gone from us except in the physical. I am so sorry for the time that was lost to you both to be together over the years. Safe journeys to you.

  3. Casey says:

    Thanks so much to you both…I’m awaiting my train now. 1.5 more hours to go…on my iPod.

    The McDonald’s at the train station has wifi.

    Oh, and apparently the Amish like McDonald’s. I was not aware of that. lol.

    It’s going to be a challenge. And I packed to heavy and I have no wheels…urg.

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