Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lonely Days

A few months ago, Tom Kater wrote something that has stayed with me ever since I read it. Before the sorrow of a loss can begin to fade, one must go through a full year of sadness as each season carries a reminder of prior seasons before the loss.

Right now, I'm feeling Dad's loss more strongly than I have since the week he left.

Thanksgiving is four days away, but I can't stir up any festive feelings. Christmas is five weeks away, and I'm almost dreading the season that used to bring me so much joy... Christmas was Dad's season, and he cherished it.

Sometimes I think there must be something wrong with me... I see other people who suffer similar losses, and they seem to get past it. I wish that I could...


Janice said...

Don't know if this will help but the Jewish mourning period for a parent is a full year so even if there was some concept of "how long it should take" you're nowhere near it in some cultural contexts. And nearly anyone who has suffered such a loss will tell you that the holiday periods in the first year are especially painful.

Comparing yourself to others who have lost a parent is not germane - you have no way of knowing how close they were to their parents, or how the loss occurred, or all sorts of other intangibles.

Don't be so hard on yourself - you're entitled to your feelings however strong they are and however long it takes for you to start recovering. Hang in there.

Lanny said...

The first holiday season without either of my parents was especially hard for me. The next holiday season, I was in Texas and the sense of loss combined with the alienation brought on by the distance from everyone in GA was so everpresent, I had a VERY sad holiday season.

It DID get better, though. My faith helped of course, but feelings are feelings and even the most stern spiritual or mental stance can often do little to make those feelings less deep.

There is nothing wrong with you. What you are going through is to be expected. Only time will bring some degree of peace.

You don't have to make it through the next year or the next decade. Just make it through today. Just today.

Your dad would have wanted you to reclaim the joy of living after this loss. You can honor him by going forward.

I am confident that you will.

Anonymous said...

my daddy, your granddaddy, died a week before christmas, almost 34 years ago. he always loved christmas. for years i prayed just let me get through this. it was hard. but then i came to the realization that nothing would bring him back and he would want us to continue to enjoy the christmas season.time will heal. just take one day at a time. there is nothing wrong with you. time will heal. you will get through this. love aunt donna

Mike Boatner said...

Cliff, I only know who you are through Lanny. I lost my Mom in 1979. I lost my Dad Labor Day of 2004. That first Christmas without BOTH of them was one of the hardest of my life. To this day, I'll still have at least one day during the holidays where all I do is think about my Mom. She lived Christmas all year. Even though as adults, we stopped swapping presents and only giving to the younger children, my Dad would always give "his kids" some cash or a Home Depot card. I've learned that it's OK to feel the loss. If you don't, then there was something missing when they were here. I take great joy in that there's a God that understands that loss, and that I have a wife that loves me unconditionally and allows me to have those feelings, somestimes when it's inconvenient for her. It will get better. Just take it one day at a time.

PS - I LOVED your SRA post. What memories THAT brought back!!