A Year of Loss

It’s gone by so fast, and yet so slow. It’s as if he is on a trip, maybe another cruise, and he has yet to return. He’ll be here any day now. Yet, I can’t pick up the phone and find out if he’s back home. As I see your name still on my contact list, I can’t help but wonder who has your phone number. They have no idea who’s number they now have. Sometimes, I want to call and tell them. They would probably think I am crazy.

I felt like I would always be prepared for the death of someone I cared about. I’m a nurse in an ICU. I see death. I help families cope with death. I try my hardest to keep people away from death. But, I had no idea what people go through after they leave the hospital when their loved one has died. I know now.

I know about the heartache and tears; the ever-flowing tears some days. The disbelief that this is happening. The crazy impulse to want to pull him out of the ground and shake him awake. The difficulty in thinking about wonderful, happy memories and pushing them away from your mind so that you can stop crying. But at the same time, needing to keep the memories alive. Wanting to turn back time and change things that weren’t said or done. Wishing you had made one more call or visit. One more hug, or smile or laugh.

All I can do is move forward. Allow this to change my life for the better. Help my children remember their grandfather and to keep his memory alive. Strive to make more memories with family/friends because we never know when it will be the last time. Live with no regrets.

I love that we can still go to his and Caren’s house to visit. The memories are so strong there. It’s as if he is still there walking up the driveway or to his bees or sitting by the fire pit. He’s not at the cemetery. We go there to bring flowers, but I don’t like being there. I’d rather have my memories float past my mind while sitting outside at the house.  I’d rather feel him around my kids while they run around or him sitting next to me and Dave while we have a beer outside in his party garage.

I imagined things to be different a year later. Yes, time heals all wounds and blah, blah, blah. It kind of has, but I hated hearing it. Time has dulled the pain, but it hasn’t healed anything. I’m so thankful for the many friends and family that have helped us get to where we are. The ability to talk about him and cry on so many shoulders helped me in ways they may never fully understand. I am forever grateful. I hoped we could have celebrated his life and happiness. Thrown him a party. He loved a good party:) I can still hear him say “yeah, who doesn’t love a good party?”, while he smiles wide and his eyes squint.

Maybe next year. He was the glue and now I feel like it’s hard to keep us all together. We’re falling apart and I don’t know or understand why. It hurts my heart.

I’m glad the last memory I have of him is of him running in the rain with my kids. My heart swells with this thought. I still hope that my kids see him and he lurks in their shadows. It may sound creepy for some, but it would be comforting for me. To know that we haven’t lost him completely.

I know everyday will continue to get better and I’m still hopeful that one day, we can celebrate his life. But right now, it still just plain sucks.

Last year on Father’s Day, my sister-in-law, Emily posted on her Facebook page a picture of her with her dad (I think it was from prom) along with a caption about him being her hero. A few day’s later, the accident happened. For some reason her post has stuck in my head. Soon after the accident, Dave mentioning the Foo Fighters song “My Hero”. It all fits. I hear that song and instantly, it’s about him.

“My Hero”

by Foo Fighters

Too alarming now, to talk about
Take your pictures down, and shake it out
Truth or consequence, say it aloud
Use that evidence, race it around

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

Don’t the best of them bleed it out
While the rest of them peter out
Truth or consequence say it aloud
Use that evidence race it around

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

Kudos my hero
Leaving all the best
You got my hero
One that’s on

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

{www.songlyrics.com}

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We miss you so much, dad. Love you.