image by Melanie Mauer
Last year, I wrote the first post on bluegrass THREADS directly acknowledging my father’s death; I say directly because, under the surface, this blog has been a constant source of healing during my grief journey.
It seems so strange to say that it has been five years (1,825 days) since my dad was with us.
I am floored that today marks five years since his passing. To have reached this milestone so quickly, to realize that I have lived such a monumental chunk of time without my father is numbing. Something about five years feels like a threshold – my loss is no longer recent and this distance of time feels both empowering and frightening. I have survived five years without my father, yet after five years of grieving and learning to live the new normal, I am still forced to confront grief that is deeply painful. After five years, how can it still hurt this much?
I’ve learned to look for silver linings – I am proud of how our family has continued to move forward, to grow new roots to replace those torn out in 2011. I am proud of what we have become despite experiencing unspeakable tragedy.
Dad, every day I try to remember all of the wonderful lessons you imparted. I know that you would want for us to take the high road in all situations. I know that you would want us to celebrate the many amazing memories that we shared and skim over the comparatively brief sadness of the end of your life. I want, and I have learned, to focus on the good of the world and not the painful ache of grief. Suicide is a singularly devastating loss and it can carry shame and taboo for the family members left behind. I hope that our honesty, our refusal to accept that shame has been a source of inspiration and hope to other families.
Dad, I just hope that we’ve all made you proud. I hope that you’ve found your peace. See you on the other side.