Dealing with grief with grace?

You know how most blog posts, even if the topic matter is not the most chipper, typically end up wrapped up with a shiny, happy bow of a lesson or some kind of resolution?

This isn’t one of those. Instead, I’m keeping it real.

family pre baby

We all have those days where life just doesn’t seem fair and it’s tough. Sunday was one of mine.

Michael, Miles and I went to church. Church was a big part of my childhood, and so it always makes me think of my dad. Two rows in front of us was a nice family, a man and a woman (appeared to be about my mom’s age), two grown women and a man (all within five years of my age). I’m making assumptions based solely on the backs of their heads and their interactions with each other. But I’m guessing it was a mom and dad, their two daughters and a son-in-law.

Seeing the dad lovingly pat the mom’s shoulder and then rub his daughter’s back was so innocuous and probably not even noticed by anyone else. But my eyes filled with tears (actually they are now just recalling the moment.)

That should be my family, my dad lovingly squeezing my mom and then scratching my back.

But it isn’t, and it won’t ever be again. And that’s just not fair.

As I type out those words, tears now escaping my eyes, I can hear my dad say, “Life’s not fair. A fair is something that comes to town twice a year.”

And he’s right. But it doesn’t make moments like that one Sunday morning easier.

ab and dad

Cancer stole my barely 56-year-old dad. My sister and I had 30 years with him; my mom 36. It wasn’t enough.

More than two years later, I still find myself picking up the phone to ask his advice or tell him the stupid thing that I did at lunch. And every milestone and moment with Miles I revel in telling my mom about I resent that I can’t share with my dad.

It makes me sad but it also makes me angry. I’m not angry with anyone, I’m just angry I was robbed of decades with my dad. I never got to watch him hold Miles, his first ever grandchild, and crying (because I know he would have) or to teach him how to throw a curveball and write a Haiku.

The sermon Sunday, the sermon I had a hard time concentrating on because I was watching this family, was about dealing with grief with grace.

My dad and me at my wedding weeks after we got the news of his diagnosis.

My dad and me at my wedding weeks after we got the news of his diagnosis.

I’m graceful most days; today just isn’t one of them. I’m still trying to wrap my head around with living in a world without my dad.

As I warned you, there’s no happy, shiny bow that I can put on all the grief.

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