“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us everyday. Unseen, unheard but always near. Still loved, still missed.” ~ Mhar
Well, it wouldn’t be winter in New York without a blizzard! I hope you managed throughout the day last week and stayed safe.
Snow is beautiful in the moment but when the inches turn into a foot or more, clean-up is a huge feat and shoveling snow takes quite a bit of time. When it finally stopped snowing there I was armed with my shovel to begin the slow process of digging out around the house. I’m grateful to my neighbors who use snow blowers and were kind enough to clear out my driveway so that I could get my car out. Nevertheless, snow shoveling is not my favorite activity but I was glad for the workout! 🙂
My Dad is always on my mind. When it comes to shoveling, I am reminded that I am my father’s daughter. He taught me well. I watched him my whole life be responsible and take pride in his home. Within minutes of being outside, the entire do’s, the don’ts and the how to’s of shoveling came flooding back. More importantly, all the memories of good times, fun and laughter were all around me.
It will be four years in March that Dad is gone and as I picked up each shovel full of snow I could feel some sadness that he isn’t here anymore; that will always be with me in one form or another but not enough to take over. What I felt most was his warmth and love beside me and with that so many more wonderful feelings emerged.
It was the realization that even though I think about and miss Dad every day, I laughed inside first because if it was up to my Dad, he would have been outside to catch the first snowflake just so he could stop any snow from covering his property! But aside from that what I was mostly feeling was:
I am loved.
I am connected.
I am strong.
I am proud and blessed that this man was my Dad and still is.
I am proud for the man he was and still is to me.
I am proud of the daughter and woman that I am because of him.
And, I am proud for the love he instilled in me with his love.
Most of all, realizing that all these feelings and memories did not make me sad like it once did but made me smile only to prove yet again that we move through our grief with action.
Today it was snow shoveling. Tomorrow it might be a walk down the street as I recall Dad walking every day to Church and to run errands in the neighborhood. When I see familiar faces of those he knew, I am reminded of the presence he had in his community and how much he was loved by so many people. It might be a song on the radio or just my morning coffee. Dad loved his coffee. As my brothers and I have laughed for years, coffee was the “price of admission”. When we came over for a visit, you brought in coffee. Dad was always up for a cup of coffee in the house, a drive to Dunkin Donuts and coffee was a must on a long road trip.
There will never be a time when I don’t grieve my Dad is some way but what has become true is that it doesn’t sting as much. Sure, I have my moments. Tears can come anytime over something serious or nothing at all, it doesn’t matter.
What I’ve noticed is that those overwhelming all over the place gripping and painful feelings that at one time scared and confused me and even caused me to withdraw are now not nearly as powerful as they once were. These days, it’s about remembering with love, more importantly it is about celebration. I honor my Dad by living the best life I can, enjoying my life and living life to the fullest.
Grief has so many lessons to teach us and I hope that this one example will offer you a reminder that grief is not a life sentence. With love, patience, time and action even with the smallest of steps, grief can me managed and will bring you to moments once again of joy, love and smiles.