It’s been 334 days since my step dad passed away unexpectedly. 334 days of sadness. Not that I’m sad and mopey every single day. But my heart aches every single day. I NEVER thought it would be this hard. Some days are harder than others. My first Father’s Day without him was really (really) hard. And lately, I find myself much more emotional than normal. Maybe because its only 31 days until the anniversary of that awful night, 38 days until my mom and step dad’s wedding anniversary and 42 days until my step dad’s birthday. We lived through these days last year, but with them being only days after his death…they were a total blur and unfortunately, this year they are going to feel like firsts all over again.
Or perhaps I’m overly sensitive and emotional because I’m been thinking about him a lot lately. Jim (my step dad) had a motto – “Keep Doing Great Things” – he would always say that to my kids and nephews (his 5 grandsons) whenever they departed from each other, or after they did a good deed, played well in a game, got a good grade etc. So about 6 weeks ago I got a tattoo of the motto. So not only do I get to see it every day, but I’m happily reminded of him and his positive message. (My husband and sister also got tats of the motto too – but mine is the largest!)
Our family is also starting a great project in honor of Jim which has been a lot of work. That project is keeping him top of mind lately – which is a good thing…but also hard emotionally. But in a way I think this project is helping me get through my grief. It’s keeping me busy and keeping my mind busy – although keeping my mind on him a lot, but in a good way. But that doesn’t mean my grief has disappeared or I miss him any less.
Grief is a difficult thing to understand. Everyone grieves differently and shows it differently. No one can understand another’s grief – no matter what. Some may scream and yell; some may go on vacation to push their grief away; and some may cry into their pillow (which I tend to do a lot). There is no right or wrong way to grieve and it’s not a sign of weakness – even if it’s been 334 days – or 3,334 days. I have realized it doesn’t matter how many days have passed. My grief is real and in time I know it will lessen (I hope)…as it already has a little. As hard as the past year has been, it’s certainly not as gut wrenching as it was the first several months.
And sometimes I feel better after a good cry. It’s almost like I got the bad mojo out for the time being and feel a little better (even if it’s just for a few minutes). I then think about the great things Jim did for the community, how much he loved us, his great smile and laugh, and all the good we’re going to do with our project, and that makes it a Beautiful Day! Can’t wait to share it all with you soon!
Until then…Keep Doing Great Things!
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