I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
There is absorption.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself-
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.
Exactly 6 months from today my father lost his battle with depression.
I don’t know if it was a good or bad thing but my day was packed with so much going on that it kept me distracted. The heaviness was there though.
Today I finally got word that his death certificate has been completed. 6 long months of hoping a piece of paper might give me some morsel of closure. It’s like this whole time I just have not believed he is actually gone.
I know it’s difficult for some of the people around me. They aren’t really sure what to say and I don’t blame them. There really isn’t anything anyone can do or say to be honest.
What people can do though is advocate. Be a voice for others that may not have the strength to speak up right now. Educate yourself and if you know someone who is going through a difficult time, never give up one them. Ever. ALWAYS BE KIND. You NEVER know what battle someone fighting. Mental illness is real, it may not always be visible but it is extremely real and very serious.
I wish I could say that the guilt has passed but it hasn’t. I wish I could say the heaviness subsided but it’s lingered. I wish I could say things get easier. I can say you get stronger though. You become more empathetic and compassionate. You learn to trust in your Heavenly Father more and more as the days go on. You hold on to your loved ones just a little tighter. You cherish those special moments even more. You’re different. Things like this just change you and you will never be the same. I don’t think that is a bad thing, but it’s definitely not a walk in the park.
I thank God every day that my father had such a passion for photography so I am able to get a glimpse through his “lens” and hold onto very specials memories of not only his but mine with all the photographs of his I have. I hope to carry on his love of capturing moments and God’s beautiful creations here on earth. Oh how I wish I could go back in time, but for now I will relive moments through his photography.
Picture by Whitney Wiatt of me with one of my father’s cameras