Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To Grief and New Beginnings

I lost my dad on August 24th, 2013.
Losing my dad has caused chaos and clarity. We have been brought the chaos of learning to live without him and putting aside the plans we had with him with the clarity of knowing that our entire life has shifted completely.  It’s almost as if we were unknowingly at a crossroads and the choice was made for us. On one road was a life with him and now the road we are on is without him. We can still see the life we could have had with him, but we needed to get used to living without him.

Losing my dad came with a harsh reality and truths I really didn’t want to know, but you can’t keep your head stuck in the sand forever. The people you expect to be there for you suddenly aren’t. At first they understand and want to be there for you but after a week, you really need to be back to life, otherwise you are forgotten. They say that they are just giving you your space, when all you really want is to be surrounded by love. Even attempts to rekindle friendships on your end are just put off with the words: hopefully we can hang out soon. It’s as if a barrier is suddenly between the life you knew and the life you now have. You are suddenly at a different part of your life than everyone else. Others are focused on weddings, babies and jobs, while you are focused on figuring out your new future. Not only did you lose your loved one, you lost the life you once had, friendships that were once strong are now awkward acquaintances. All you feel is lost.

Some say to you that you shouldn’t make any life changes during grief, but if life were to go on as before…it would be worse. You can see all the holes that the person left behind. Instead change brings healing, a new beginning to find who you are without that person, because you have to know that now. They are gone. You can’t be who you were before. You yourself change on the inside, so why can’t you want to change what is around you? Location, people, job? We have lost enough. We should be able to gain it back any way we need to, even if that means changing everything about our life.

I plan on changing everything. I don’t want everything to be as it once was, it's too painful. I am not going to let the opinions of others stop me from what I really want in my life. For example, all I have wanted for this life is to be a mom. I have been told so many times that we should wait until we are older, until we do this or that or the other. If Brian and I agree that the near future is a good time, then those opinions no longer have the power to stop us, no matter who they are coming from. What's right for others may not fit into what God's plan is for our lives. If I feel called to be a mother, then why should I wait until it is acceptable for other people? More importantly, why in the world have I been waiting on the approval of other people? I have the most important approval from my God.
Losing my father caused me to lose my inhibitions for life. Life is short, shorter than we even think. Life is fragile and beautiful and gift from God. It's about time we started treating it as such. We have been blessed to love each other and to experience this life. I am so tired of the fighting, the politics, and the questions. The only thing I'm waiting for is the right timing. Not too soon that we can't afford it or easily accomplish our plans, but soon enough that it is almost within reach.
My dad will always be a part of us and our future. Our kids will know who Grandpa was and how much he looked forward to being their Grandpa. Just because we are changing things doesn't mean he will be forgotten. He will just be in our lives in a different way than before. He will be in beautiful memories, traditions, and our hearts. But our lives will not be a shrine. He would have hated that. He was so full of life, of laughter and of love. He would have wanted us to move forward and grow. To heal.
I am anxiously awaiting what path lays before me and the plans that God has for our lives. The song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United is a perfect portrayal of our prayers right now. My favorite part is:
Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine.