A Year of Grief

A year ago was the worst day of my life. My dad died.

On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s been a year. I can’t believe it’s been that long. On the other hand, so much has happened. I had an entire pregnancy and baby between now and then!

I’ve learned a lot about grief over the last year and expect it will be something I continue to learn about for the rest of my life.

Grief ebbs and flows. There are a lot of water analogies with grief: waves crashing over you…the ability to drown in only 2 inches of water…etc.

I didn’t realize how universal some grief feelings are until I experienced it myself and then recognized those same thoughts expressed by others. My favorite is the disbelief at the audacity of the rest of the world to keep spinning. I can remember driving around Cleveland, running various errands for the funeral, and thinking, “How can all of these people be going about their everyday lives as if nothing has changed? Everything changed for me! My dad died.”

Speaking of the funeral, my aunt put it best. Planning a funeral is essentially all the same pieces of planning a wedding except you only have a couple of days to do it, and you’re so sad the whole time.

Another feeling that is difficult to understand until you experience it is, “It hurts when your person dies. But that still doesn’t prepare you for the pain of their staying dead.”

I got that one from Twitter.

And it’s funny because it makes no sense. If you think logically, you know that death is permanent. For the rest of your time on Earth, that person is gone. But grief isn’t logical. Because the past tense sentence:

“My dad died.”

I have sort of accepted. I understand that he died. I get it.

But the present tense sentence:

“My dad is dead.” or “My dad is gone.”

That’s really hard.

It’s hard because sometimes you forget, and the reminder punches you in the gut. A friend from high school wrote to tell me that he ended up with my dad’s old road bike, and my first thought was that I needed to text Dad to tell him that. Sucker punch. Can’t text him. I forgot.

I still dream about him sometimes. My most recent one was him at my house, and he just started doing the dishes. I went up to him to say thank you, and he just sort of shrugged. That’s who my dad was – the guy who would start cleaning up without any sort of expectation of thanks or praise. It’s just what he’d do.

For now, I’m thankful for those dreams, and I’m thankful for the hope of seeing him again after this life ends. Until then, I gain comfort from a number of things – family, friends, memories, and this verse:

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden.


Happy Easter! We got an early start to our morning thanks to Venus incessantly jumping on and off our bed this morning. Since we live so much closer to church, we were able to get a few crates unpacked before heading to the service.

The Easter service was lovely – such a great cause for celebration. I also don’t always fully comprehend the lyrics to songs when I hear them on the radio, so I learned something new when I saw them on the screen this morning.

Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You

You silenced the boast, of sin and grave

The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory

For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal

Now and forever, Our God reigns

Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory

Yours is the Name, above all names

I never knew the line “the heavens are roaring,” and I LOVE it. I went to my first NFL game last year, and I can only imagine the level of excitement that heaven holds – and for something far more important than a football team. Speaking of more important things, I’ve done a fair amount of complaining on here about things that are truly first world problems when in fact I am #blessed as the kids say these days.

After church we took another trip to Home Depot to buy a vacuum cleaner and a new power cord for our dryer since the outlet is different in our new laundry room. Unfortunately we had some confusion about the cord we needed, so we left without a new one and found out the one we were looking at would have worked. Just meant another trip to Home Depot for Josh later in the afternoon!

We spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and cleaning the old house thanks to the new vacuum. When you have a cat, it’s necessary to thoroughly vacuum your house before you sell it! We are well on our way to being fully unpacked with most of the remaining crates holding decorations and other non-necessary items.

Almost done unpacking!

The only hiccup of the day was that Josh attempted to rekey our front door while I was at the grocery store and then wasn’t able to get the deadbolt to work at all. Since our front door is only a deadbolt, this was a bit of a problem. Josh called a locksmith to see if someone could come out to rekey it for us, but no one is working on Easter! Thankfully after a few more attempts, he was able to get the lock to work, so we won’t have to worry about the door being unlockable tonight.

Tomorrow starts a new week and the last few days that we own our first house. It should be an exciting week!