Three weeks, one day.
These days, I measure the passage of time based on my father’s passing. In these subsequent 22 days since his death, grief has taken its place in my life like a shadow. My only real reprieve is for a few hours of work each day when I’m so immersed in the crazy world of employee relations that I can compartmentalize my pain.
The rest of the time, I am amazed at how fast I can go from being fine one second to crying the very next. It doesn’t take much. Yesterday, it was because I was putting pictures of Dad in frames. Today, it was because I found a birthday card – wholly inappropriate but hilarious – while going through stuff to prepare for our yard sale. I remembered getting a call from my mom before the card arrived with the warning: “When you get that card, just know that your Dad picked it out. I would have never gotten you a card like that!”
I have also discovered that I’m tired of condolences. I don’t want to sound unappreciative because the outpouring of support has been lovely, but a simple “I’m so sorry about your dad” is all it takes to make me bawl. And then there are people whose motivations I question. Case in point: this gentleman that Tim doesn’t know called to say he heard about my father, wanted to give his condolences, and that he and Tim met at a previous real estate event. He then began to ramble about religious things and Tim basically tuned him out once he started talking about Lazarus rising from the dead. That was last week, and then the guy (who Tim STILL can’t recall at all) reaches out this week because he wants to stop by our house. No. It’s obvious that it’s going to be some type of religious invitation/high pressure sales pitch and we don’t want those uncomfortable conversations in our home.
So I’m muddling by. Every morning I make myself get out of bed, get dressed, and face the sunlight, even as a weight the size of a truck presses against my heart. I’m still getting groceries and cleaning my house. I’m still making challah and lighting my Shabbat candles. We even made it official and finally joined the shul where we have been attending Shabbat services. We really are both trying to do the whole “living” thing, even if every step is painful.
I’m aware that grief will linger and that it will be months, if not longer, before this burning ball of tears at the back of my throat finally dissolves for good. I’m aware that a heavy wave of sadness permeates from me. I’m aware that I’m probably not a pleasant person to be around.
I can’t help it. I don’t actually care right now. I miss my dad with every breath I take, and for the first time in my life, I’m homesick for a person and not a place.