small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

your birthday, without you

on March 8, 2017

Hello friends.

Today is Dad’s birthday. Yes, it has been many years since he passed away, but it is still difficult. Each year feels a little different. Each time it comes around I feel there is a little more healing. However, my sadness does still intensify around the day, because as I said about my mother-in-law’s birthday, it is the one day of the year that celebrates them. Just them. And that is hard to ignore.

Yesterday me and the kids visited the cemetery to tell Dad about what’s new in our lives and to wish him a happy birthday. I hate that my kids have to go to the cemetery to ‘visit’ their grandpa (and grandma too) but as many people have said, “it is what it is.”

It truly is beautiful to see how my son has become more accustomed to these visits, and he even asks to go see Papa at the cemetery every so often. When we go there we talk to him and G always wants to say a prayer for him. I am so thankful he gets it. It is balm to my soul to see that my kids will be able to have a relationship with their departed grandparents, even if it isn’t the one I had envisioned.

It also encourages me to seek out my new relationship with my dad and mother-in-law. This takes time and effort to discover what that looks like. I’m obviously still processing the loss of my mother-in-law, so I’m in the early stages of figuring out my new relationship with her. But I think I’m getting closer to a better understanding of what it’s like to have my dad in heaven, and how that fits into my life. The biggest thing I’m learning is to not focus so much on the fact that he isn’t here, but figuring out ways to make it feel like he is. Visiting the cemetery is one of those ways to tangibly feel like I’m spending time with him.

Of course this is different for everyone. I just encourage those who have lost someone to first off, don’t put a timeline on how you feel. And don’t let others do that for you either. If it has been one year or ten years and a birthday or anniversary makes you sad, OWN IT. Please take care of yourself. Spend time figuring out what would make you feel connected with them and DO IT.

Not having Dad around for all the new things in life is so frustrating. But including him and celebrating him when I need to is a good way to make sure he stays in my heart.

Sending love, as always, to those who are missing someone today and everyday.

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