“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way”.
– Mark Twain
Life isn’t easy. No one goes around saying it is. Actually, most people make a concerted effort to warn you about what lies ahead. With vagueness and general platitudes, adults attempt to steer us away from any delusion we may have that life promises to be anything but a bumpy ride. Sure, we often are too young to appreciate the warning for what it is… kindness. Because when life starts to hit you hard, like it does, the thing that often hurts the most is letting go of the fantasy that says “It wasn’t suppose to be this hard.” Yes, it was. That’s why it is.
My father died when I was 22. Our relationship was complicated by his life long struggle with alcoholism. As his power of attorney, I signed his do not resuscitate form the morning the doctor told us there was nothing else to be done. Liver and kidney failure would send him into a coma. His heart and lung function would quickly diminish. He would finally have peace. As painful as it is to admit, my father’s death has been a tremendous blessing. After moving through all of the pain it’s caused me, I can see it more clearly for what it is… one of the best things that could have happened to either one of us.
This blog explores the many twists and turns my thinking took before I arrived at this conclusion. It is my honest account of how my grief continues to shape me. My impulse is to fend off the sadness, to be better than the struggle, to put off the feelings until a more appropriate time. But now is always the appropriate time. Life moves on, and more struggles came my way, I had to surrender to this out pouring of grief, so I could be free of it. This revelation has been hard won, but just like life, more than worth the struggle.
Read more about Good Grief here.