Grief is weird. I really expected it to be “oh I had a bad day” or “oh I had a good day” but for the most part that’s not how it works. Grief, at least for me, has really manifested in these crappy little moments. They can be quick or they can last a few hours but they almost always come out of nowhere.
Father’s day is going to suck this year, Halloween is going to suck this year, my dad’s birthday in November is going to suck this year. These are all things I know will be hard to get through because he isn’t going to be here for them. I feel like I have a certain amount of preparedness that will make this really hard day less hard and I feel ready for those. What I never seem to be ready for are these moments that come and go unexpectedly.
I cry at stupid stuff all the time. It’s not stupid to me but to anyone on the outside it seems pretty trivial. People would expect me to burst into tears on Father’s Day… maybe not so much when I cry over the take out bag. Yes, last week I cried when the take out was delivered. Why? Because the bag said “delivery for Steven” and I realized that his favorite take out Italian place doesn’t know he’s dead. That’s the kind of shit that will get you every time.
Think I’m joking? Here’s a list of things that have made me cry in the last few weeks.
- The St. Louis Blues organist played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in game 7 against the Blackhawks
- Death Cab for Cutie came on the radio and it reminded me of how my dad used to call them Death Camp for Cutie
- The White Sox had a triple play last week and my dad didn’t see it
- One of the challenges on RuPaul’s drag race involved the Wizard of Oz
- My dad won’t get to know how Game of Thrones is going to end
- Coldplay came on the radio and my dad loved Coldplay
- We changed the license plates on his car
- I called him for a ride home last week and his phone was disconnected
- I want Chinese food but I don’t know how to tell the delivery guy that “Mr. Steve” passed away so I’m avoiding them
- Things are still recording on his DVR
- I didn’t know where he gets the cars washed
- He never got to watch the Hateful 8 and now it’s On Demand
- A Fro Yo place opened in the neighborhood and he would have loved that
- My toms smell bad and he always cleaned them for me
I could keep going but I think you get the point. Don’t feel bad about laughing at some of them. I’m laughing at them too! And I’m sure my dad is like “oh Christ Allison get it together” on most of them.
Grief is just so weird.. the moments you think you’re going to lose it you wind up being fine and the moments you think everything is going ok you wind up balling your eyes out. Like I said, the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and important days are going to suck no matter what. Those days are going to so obviously show that that person is missing. But really, those are nothing compared to these little moments. I think they’ve gutted me more than anything else but each time I pull myself together and try to better prepare for the next one.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with this. I’m learning to really let go and let myself feel sad in these moments. I always thought that breaking down over something stupid was a sign of weakness but I think I realize now that it’s just another way for me to move on. So yeah, I’m probably going to cry over a lot more take out meals and that’s just fine with me.