A (My) Picture of Grief

It’s only been 3 and ½ weeks since my father died. I can’t even begin to describe how I feel. My emotions are, understandably, all over the place. I haven’t written a post in a couple of weeks because, quite frankly, I haven’t had much to say, and I’m not sure I have much to say now, but I don’t want to keep my grief bottled up.

After the funeral, after everyone went home, I started to get the feeling my life was supposed to go back to normal. I felt (feel) sad, and a range of other emotions, that go along with grief. I function(ed) because that’s what I have to do, that’s what I need to do in the outside world, but behind closed doors, it’s a different story, a story best told with pictures.

I haven’t cleaned much in the past three weeks: dishes have piled up in the sink, my dining table became a catch-all, I’d wash undies when I was wearing my last clean pair and not before. I paid a $30 medical co-pay over 60 days late (I just haven’t cared). When I’m home, I stare into space, trying to focus, attempting to concentrate, but those moments don’t come frequently enough. I’m sad.  I need to be sad now.  My world looks different; nothing can change that.

Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t need psychiatric drugs; I don’t need therapy—after all it’s only been 3 ½ weeks. I need to and I choose to acknowledge that I need to just be for now; I need the space to figure out how the landscape of my world is altering at a faster pace than I ever imagined.

I miss my father’s love. I know that he’s with me now more than ever, but that’s part of the new configuration of my life that I haven’t quite settled into yet.

Knowing others care and love helps. As I looked around my recently cluttered apartment this morning, I kept focusing on the flowers my friends sent me Friday, and I felt (and feel) the love the sunflower arrangement conveys. Then I thought about the sweet messages of love and hugs I’d been receiving, and somehow all that gave me the energy to make space for my life.

I’m including before and after pics, so you can see the manifestations of my grief. You’ll also see a clutter free dining table, lovingly decorated with flowers and pics of my father, so when I wake up Sunday morning, I’ll be able to have breakfast with him by my side. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

With love and gratitude to those around me who are helping me feel loved when I need it the most.

Pics #1, 2, &3: Dining Table and Kitchen BeforeImageImageImage

Pics # 4 & 5 Dining Table and Kitchen After

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5 thoughts on “A (My) Picture of Grief

  1. There is no statute of limitation on grief. Take your time and be kind to yourself. Your life as you knew it has changes and it will take some time to get adjusted. Writing is the best therapy I have found to help me. Maybe writing more (& whether you chose to share it or not is up to you – it could be notes you keep in a journal) will help you. I wish I had started writing immediately instead of waiting 8 months. Yes, 8 months later I was still grieving. I am still grieving, though it doesn’t consume my whole day anymore (& I have other circumstances that made my situation harder to move forward), 13 months later. You do what you need to. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do anything by any certain date. Well, except go to yoga! That’s how I found you in the first place and your yoga pictures are a huge inspiration to me! Your flowers are beautiful.

  2. You’re doing everything right, Nancy, even though you don’t need anyone’s approval. I remember years ago hearing Gary Zukav say: “just feel the pain.” I often thought of that phrase after my mother died when I would sit on the chair in my bedroom, rocking back and forth, crying and hugging the afghan she made for me.

  3. Nancy, thank you for sharing such personal inner feelings. I love you for that (and everything you are!) As I read this, I got a call from my brother, so I leave now to go and see about my 87 year old daddy in the hospital. SIGH! ♥

  4. A wonderful post, Nancy–I know what you mean. When I lost my parents, many people said “Well, they’re with you all the time now” but I didn’t find that comforting because I wanted them with me the way they USED to be, dammit! You’re getting some wonderful advice, and I hope you’ll be as good to yourself as possible. The only way out is through (the feelings), sucky as that is. Thanks for the courage to share this with us.

  5. Nancy, continue to find the courage to face your grief everyday. I know it’s hard, but, in time, in your own time, it will become easier. Keep moving forward as you have been..it’s the best tribute to your father than you can make. 🙂

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