My dad passed away about a month ago and my mom a little over a year ago. Figuring out life with no parents takes time. Time to grieve and time to self-reflect. It doesn’t matter your age – it is life-altering. And I have given myself permission to take some time and think about life in general, my purpose in the scheme of life and how do I proceed and develop a new “normal.”
I have to admit I wasn’t ready for my dad to die. No one does. No one is ever ready for their parents to die. I wasn’t ready to plan a funeral. I wasn’t ready to pick out a casket or pick out clothes for him to wear. I wasn’t ready to deal with all his belongings that had to be moved out of his apartment relatively shortly after he passed. I just wasn’t ready.
But that’s just how life works.
Finding a few moments, by myself, allows me to think and try to figure out what just happened. I love listening to music as my backdrop–it just puts me in a different space–a time of solace and peace. I use this time to ask myself questions. Do I change my life’s focus? Is this a wakeup call of some sort? What am I to learn from this?
But time is limited. If you take time to self-reflect, you don’t have the time to do what your normal schedule demands. Yes, I have let some things slide. Haven’t blogged in a very long time. Bushes are overgrown. Behind on watering my flowers as they wilt. Dust is accumulating. Floors need mopping. Harvest is about to start and no meals in the freezer. But this self-reflection time gives me a chance to really focus on what is important right now. And also to remind myself that God is overseeing this whole process and everything will be okay.
Spending Time with Family
I have understood from early on that “things” don’t matter–it’s about people and relationships and experiences and memories. My brothers and I are trying to start a new yearly tradition by going to a Minnesota Vikings game. And we are going this weekend. I appreciate and love each of my brothers (there are three). We are all very different and yet we know we are important to each other. We may have limited time that we are together, but the time we are together is always special.
And I can’t forget my daughters and their families. They have no idea how much I appreciate their support and help. Having family by your side makes these sad experiences more tolerable.
Hop Back on the Horse
This is a phrase I used often with my daughters as they were growing up. Most of the times I was referencing the sports they participated in. When they experienced difficulties, I would tell them they needed to hop back on the horse. To persevere. And as I move on with the grieving process, I need to remind myself of this same advice.
I will persevere.
I am not sure where my path will take me or if it will change at all. I pray about it often–wanting assurance that I am doing what I am intended to do. It’s not easy. I try to look for signs but sometimes I feel blind and joke that I probably need a baseball bat over the head to see the signs.
I know I will get back to my new “normal” life. I am just not going to hurry. And I am going to pray and listen and follow my heart and passion. And, yes, there probably will be more struggles and more tears. But it’s okay.
And I will be ready for what life has in store for me.
Would love to hear your experiences during grief. Please share.