five years

dad4image 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.


katherine Greene


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28 year-old Lexingtonian life-long romantic married to her wonderful husband, loving life with a sweet baby boy likes movies (especially the classics), baking, throwing parties and entertaining, shopping for the best deals in town, taking long walks & playing with her golden retriever

4 thoughts on “five years”

  1. Katherine, I’m so sorry. I lost my dad almost three years ago and it’s something that is with me daily. I understand your pain and grief as I have walked through it as well. Hugs and prayers to you.

  2. Katherine you are such a strong and beautiful woman just like your mom, you have a great family and support system and knowing your dad he is and always was so proud of his little girl. My prayers are with you today and always. Barb

  3. My dear sweet Katherine and Family,

    This is a beautiful remembrance and as you say, of honesty. I thank you whole heartedly because you see my grief when saddened and shocked by your dad’s suicide left a vulnerability in my own healing process. Knowing you as I had come to at the Carnegie Literacy Center, it was like living a life I could only imagine. I marveled at your focus and your beauty and how you could give the perfect gift wrapped just so sweetly and thoughtfully. I marveled at your singing voice and how you and Andrew became engaged and I was invited to shower’s beforehand and after hand when Gabe was on his way to join the family.

    That day after the memorial, I stopped at a garage sale and bought tons of fabrics and furniture and all kinds of oddities and met a new friend as I grieved out loud a bit. Then I came home and wrote and wrote and painted a small ornamental bear with a green marker?…it was a bizarre experience on my end yet nothing like what your family was experiencing. And so an Angel named Gabriel came into their mists…

    Love to you all….bet he loved those pickle/cream cheese/chipped beef roll-ups.


  4. Katherine, ever since I read your post and looked at the picture of your dad and you, I have had you on my mind. I shared an office with your dad at CMW for several years. He would talk about how much he loved his children and your mom and tell me all sorts of stories about cute things you and your brother did. There was always a big smile (like in the picture) on his face when he talked about you. He loved you so much. We were sharing the office when my husband, Jack, died and your dad was such a comfort to me during those days. He was one of the good guys in this world. I know he would be so proud of you and your whole family and I can see him now smiling down on you with that wonderful smile of his. I have prayed for your family for the past five years, every day, during my prayer time. XOX

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