It’s been a while since I have written. I find for me that writing comes when I am moved to do so. Maybe it’s by circumstance or a sudden memory pops into my head, but I truly wait for it down deep in my soul and then I sit down and just start moving my fingers. I never prewrite anything. The best of my writing comes from being unfiltered, raw and unapologetic to how it translates from my mind onto my computer. It’s a rush for me. Today is a day that comes once a year for me that causes me deep reflection. However, it is the memories that trickle in of my late Father that stand out the most these last six years.
I find that in life we can wear our grief like a coat. I seem to take mine off now and then and other days it just stays on me and keeps me feeling safe from the outward elements of life. There are days that I want to just sit and surround myself with pictures, songs, lots of Kleenex and some old cards my dad wrote from my dresser drawer. There are many times that it passes quickly over me and other times it comes on like a rainstorm with all the thunder then all of a sudden the sun breaks and I feel free again. There are moments of smiling through tears that no longer sting my eyes and at the same time moments where I am paralyzed internally by a memory, a thought and it numbs me to my core.
To find the good amidst the grief I have learned to embrace it like an old wound that has scarred over. It looks back at me like to say, “Hey, remember this…?” I do, and I used to wish it away. I used to get really angry and beyond irritable and just want to scream, shut everyone away and be by myself forever. I remember the last package my dad sent me. One day I was carrying the contents of it to another room to put it out for decoration…one item of it being a Happy Easter snow globe. I dropped it while walking by accident and it shattered, the watered spilled and filled the cracks of my wood floor. I dropped to my knees like I had never done and let out a scream that I never done and just bawled. As my family attempted to comfort me sad to say I yelled to be left alone. I was in utter shock and I guess it was because he had just died not too long ago…and I thought that without that globe, that tangible piece that he gave me…he was now really gone. The permanence set in and I realized true grief for the first time.
You can have a love/hate relationship with loss. Sometimes I will intentionally play a song just to get it out of me because I find over time it builds up. It’s a release that now feels good when I need it and other times I watch a movie and it comes on, but its more of a happy cry and sentimental. Have you been there? Can you relate to some of this?
I used to equate my Multiple Sclerosis to loss. When I was diagnosed in 2009, I thought the lights are going to go out and its just going to be over slowly in time…every piece of me will just waste away as the years go on. I had just started to live I felt, I was 29. But as the years went on…the loss turned to LIFE. I realized you can live with a chronic illness a disease for which there is no cure and is progressive in time. You can fight the good fight and show your scars in life like victories. You can be at the bottom and rise again all at the same time. If my dad were alive today he would still be my biggest supporter and yet he would still know that my battle was hard and I have a long way to go. He would wish it weren’t so. He no doubt is proud of me looking down from Heaven at this life I have learned to come to terms with. I have used the loss of him to push me farther in my journey of healing, especially when it comes to living my life with MS. Life and loss can exist parallel to each other. You can LIVE LIFE and FEEL LOSS. And there is time for both. I may wear my coat today for a bit, but I will also take it off and see the sun, smile through the tears, and laugh out loud.
I LOVE YOU DAD.