The seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks, have now pushed measuring our grief in months. He was here, existing, living, laughing, and an actual person that was really important in my life...and suddenly he was gone.
You can't help but cringe at the words mashed together with good intentions (probably similar to the dreaded turnip casserole that shows up uninvited at holiday dinner tables) - partly because you said it to other people who suffered losses, but now you realize how the hollow words echo in their unintended emptiness - "You have to move on" or "Your dad wouldn't want you to be sad" or "It'll get easier." Of course they are spoken with genuine kindness behind them (and thank you for them) - but I think I would prefer words of wisdom like: "Drink an extra glass of wine" or "Eat your weight in chocolate" or even the simple, perversely encouraging, "Life sucks."
To quote Dave Matthews, "The space between the tears we cry, is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more." I like that. I like it because it's true. The love, laughter, the friends and family make it (it being the sucky parts of life that we'd rather not deal with) worthwhile. There is more joy in my life than sorrow. But (and it's a big but - not "butt" in case you were reading this and immediately your mind flew to my behind) my dad's journey from life, into Heaven, has left a ragged, gaping hole that hurts to peer into. You can't help but squint deeply into the void and hope that eventually, when I look into that darkness, a memory that makes me smile flits through it.
So, that is my plan to 'Break Sad.' I will keep schlecking (made up this word because I felt like it) good memories of my dad into that pit, until it is full to the brim of the blessings he brought me and my family. So when my breath gets snagged on a reminder of him, Steven Butler, that triggers an ache in my chest, I can smile instead of swiping at the tears.
So, I am expecting my next post to be a light-hearted time-waster...or time-filler if you're really bored....or, if you wanted to really boost my spirits - you could refer to the next posting as completely uplifting, motivating, and so deeply thoughtful that after reading it your heart and mind grew 2 sizes larger. (You could say 3 sizes to really be kind...too much?)
I can't believe it but...writing this has actually made me feel a bit better.
Thank you readers, and especially KS for your constant encouragement,
Hug your dads and moms, folks,
Kathy Pettit :)