Six
Ike, Instagram'd

Blood Around the Edges

Jason is at a software conference in California all week, and apparently can see Disneyland from his hotel. My mom is in town to help me out with the kids, or at least that's the idea: Please come and save me from my own purposeful decision to have this many children, ay yi fucking yi.

Today is (was? would have been? no, let's stick with is) my parents' wedding anniversary. 

I'm glad she's here. She says she's glad she's here, too. She had flowers and a card delivered to his grave this morning, though. 

Her grief is...still intense. Raw and fresh and liable to bubble over at any second. The kind of grief that can make people uncomfortable because it's just so real and there

And then there's me. I'm fine! And good. What's for lunch? I should go to the store. We need cat food. 

Jason says I keep hitting the snooze button on my grief. On grieving. Which I suppose is true, like I keep expecting there to be a time when I can pencil in a good cry and some Deep Thoughts between 11 and 1 next Thursday but oh, crap. I have that call with the people at the place. Then I have pick Ezra up from school and get Noah at the bus and Ike has a doctor's appointment and there's some free time on Saturday but I think I'll schedule a haircut instead. 

I could probably convince you -- and myself -- that I have simply opted to immerse myself in life instead. Life! Which goes on, blah dee blee, and my father would not want me to be sad and weepy at the expense of reveling in my pile of adorable, hilarious children. That happened, and that's all there is to it. The best way through it is through, at full speed, on a train, that's been turbo-boosted with rockets. 

But then: My mom mails me copies of some old photos she's found of him. To add to the huge stack of assorted pictures and yearbooks and newspaper clippings I promised to scan for her ages ago, but have not yet touched. I stare at his face and feel my eyes getting hot. I quickly slap the paper face down on the counter, then cover it up with some catalogs. Then I snap at one of the kids, for absolutely no reason at all. Stop that. Whatever it is you're doing, just stop. 

And then: We're out at lunch, some casual place with a big flatscreen TV up above the bar. We're in a booth across the room but I'm staring at the TV anyway, watching some PSA-type commercial in horror, knowing I should look away, look away, look away...

OH GOD STOP IT NO NO WHAT THE HELL. (<--Click at your eyeballs' own risk.)

I finally manage to look away, but only because I need to turn my face towards the wall while I attempt to get my sobs back under control. I blame postpartum hormones and try to laugh at myself. Jason tries to tell me it's okay but I cut him off and ask him about the state of my mascara.

And then: Father of the Bride comes on TV. Jason and I watch it for the dozenth time for no real reason. I make fun of it a lot, because I have no patience for extravagant weddings and never fail to side with Steve Martin over his poor little spoiled brat daughter who falls asleep reading tips for a BUDGET WEDDING, THE HORROR, SEE WHAT YOU'VE DRIVEN HER TO? SHE'S THINKING OF BAKING HER OWN CAKE, YOU MONSTER.

And then: She calls him on the phone, from the airport, just to say she loves him. My heart shatters into a million pieces and I'm sobbing -- bawling -- because I can't do that, ever again.

And that's how it goes. I stuff it down. I look away. I keep the photos and clippings in the basement. I put his fingerprint back in my jewelry box to protect it from Ike's grabby little fists. I dab at my eye makeup with tissues and laugh at myself and go to the store for cat food during Noah's karate class while Ezra tries to sneak ice cream into our cart and I text my husband to find out if I should pick up some dish detergent too. I'm fine! Really, really fine. 

And then I walk past the Band-Aids and there it is, again, bleeding ever so slightly around the edges.

EPSON027

Comments

@tiffany

If I may offer a little practical suggestion for those photos (that I hope is not assvice)? Scancafe.com. They probably can't help with clippings and yearbooks but they'll scan those photos for you (and your mom), do a little color correction, and all for a very reasonable price. I've been very happy with the quality of their work.

jackie

This spring, one of my best friends, my brother from another mother, my concert boyfriend, my good friend's husband, died.

I've been struggling with my own grief. Feeling much like you with it washing over me in waves. Sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes triggered by the most benign of things.

I'm the only person who cries when :"Last Friday Night" comes on the radio.

Thanks for this post. I was having a hard time trying to describe how I feel but your words have captured it. I'm relieved to know I'm not alone in this grief.

Hilary

I lost my dad in 2002 and I can say this -- grieving is not linear. It's not something you can check off your list. You'll be immersed in the demands of everyday life, and, just like you described, grief will wash over you. Don't worry -- you're not avoiding it. You are just processing it a little at a time. It took me years before I stopped running out of weddings, sobbing, during the father/daughter dance. I don't think you have to make an appointment with your grief. It will find you. You're doing fine.

typelittlea

Oh hon. Everybody's grief looks different. Furthermore, he's only been gone what, 6 months? That's a blink of an eye honey. You could even still be in shock.

In my case here's some backstory- I am a talker. BLABBER, I almost never shut up. When my dad died? I didn't speak 2 days I think? My mother? Was much like yours, even idealizing their relationship.

I stopped talking about/expressing my grief because I was just fucking exhausted about talking about it. Particularly because my father had a terminal illness and we rode the life and death roller coaster for 8 years before he finally died at age 53. It consumed our life.

I can't watch father of the bride either. I met my husband 6 weeks after he died. He never walked me down the aisle, or held my kids.

I feel for you Amy.

Julie

FWIW, that sounds ... normal ... to me. I mean, yeah, OK, maybe it would be good for you if you could give yourself some time to not pretend you're OK if you're not. But the grief-coming-out-of-nowhere thing - that, I think, is just the way it is.

Blessings to you and your family.

liz

Sending you love.

Sheila

I am so sorry. You will let go. You just need to do it in your own time. And it won't just be once or twice...sorry to tell you this but I think you already know.
My dad died 22 years ago. I don't "miss" him every day or event every week but some days I wouldn't mind hearing him yelling at me "Jesus Christ, Sheila, what the hell have you done?!?"
Take care of YOU.

Heather

My father-in-law died suddenly when I was pregnant with my first child, so he's never met either of my kids. It's been four and a half years now, and still, once in a while, something will happen that slams it home again that he's gone. He would have been so amused by my daughter's silly sense of humor, and he would have laughed his ass off at how my son refuses to say "Grandma" in front of my mother-in-law. It just isn't fair.

Every time you mention your dad, it reminds me of my father-in-law and my heart aches for you. It just isn't fair.

Um, I was going to try to end this comment on an uplifting note, but I can't think of anything that doesn't sound cheesy and ridiculous. I guess, just know I'm sorry about your dad, and there are people out here in Internet-land who are thinking of you.

Kerry

I lost my dad 4 months ago. Massive heart attack while running. He was only 63. To say we were shocked is an understatement. Lately I'm real angry. Especially all the media who keep talking about how people are living longer and how everyone needs to be sure to save enough for retirement. My dad was saving for retirement. It was a year and a half away. I'm so angry. My mom is so sad and lonely. It hurts so bad you kind of want to not love anyone too much anymore because it's just going to hurt so bad when they're not here. Hang in there Amy. I'm trying to.

Momma21

Here I am again...relating to your every word...let's just keep life rolling along...there isn't "any time" for grief...who needs it? Damn...there are so many time I read your blog and feel like it's my own words...
Take care of yourself...isn't that what everyone says {lol}

Haley

Thinking of you and your mom.

Janessa

I'm so sorry, Amy. I have no words because I haven't been in your situation, yet. Hopefully the fingerprint can give you some peace and comfort when you need it. It's okay to cry and for the kids to see you cry. It means you're human.

Valerie

I know...I just KNOW. like Hillary said - grief isn't linear. It's a real bitch. 17 months later, I still get weepy. I tend to get angry at myself when I'm sad about not having my dad to walk me down the aisle someday, or meet future children. But it's there, and I can't pretend that I'm not a little bitter. You're doing fine. Be kinder to yourself.

Christine

Everyone's grief is different, and that's totally okay. Sending you, your mom and your family so many good thoughts.

B

I lost my Dad three years ago tomorrow. I saw that commercial the other day and it made me cry hysterically while shouting profanity at the TV. I swear, that shit should be illegal. Also, I have a picture of me and Dad at Disney World when I was about the same age and I really want to go find it now.

Jessica

I'm so sorry. I wish you didn't have to go through this.

Corie

A few others have said this, but what you're doing is completely normal. You're living your life because you have to - you have kids and a job and a husband and pets. You have other things to occupy your time and your mind. Your mom likely doesn't. And I don't mean that in a bad way, but he was her husband. She spent years taking care of him, and now he's gone and she's probably still trying to figure out how life is going to look without him. (Ok, I just realized that this probably makes your mom sound really sad and pitiful and I didn't mean for it to. I guess I was just trying to make the point that she's actively confronted by her loss several times a day, every day, so she's constantly reminded of it and thus is still actively grieving.)

Anyway, it's been over 3.5 years since we lost my dad (completely unexpectedly - he had a heart attack at 54) and for the most part, I'm like you. I'm fine, F-I-N-E, most of the time, but every once in a while it catches up with me. I'll think about how proud he'd be of my son (who is named after him, and he never met) and how great a grandfather he would have been. Or I'll think about the family drama that has arisen in the past year, and wonder if it would have been different if he was still around. I occasionally talk to him in my head, tell him I miss him, things like that. I tend to break down in the shower, on long drives by myself, and when I visit his grave. Sometimes I'll get caught off guard by a song on the radio and lose it, but the same song won't faze me a day later. Grief is a strange, strange thing. There's no right or wrong way to grieve - everyone does it differently. And know that you're not alone.

JC

You know how your love for your kids is always there, never wavering? That's how it is with grief, too, it seems to me, always there just under the surface waiting to refresh itself at every opportunity. I think that is just going to have to be okay with you from now on. It's a bitch, but there it is. Hang tough.

FishyGirl

My mother died 26 years ago, and still, sometimes, I get those moments. The first was actually 4 years after she died, in Lakeforest Mall, during back to school shopping. I saw all those other girls shopping with their moms and I just lost it. The most recent was when I found an old textbook of hers at my grandparent's house when they died, a textbook where she'd written her name and highlighted a bunch of random stuff, and I couldn't read it because I couldn't see through my tears. I stuffed it, too, though, but the thing is, when you are ready, you'll deal. You're just not ready for more than this right now. And that's okay. Peace to you and your mom, Amy.

Emily B

That commercial is THE WORST. I cry every single time, no matter what show it appears during or who I'm watching with. Doesn't matter, I cry.

MelissaB

I can tell you that those moments still come, even 7 years after losing my own Mom...but they are much less frequent. Still intense and always hard to stuff back down, but at least less frequent.

MelissaB

I can tell you that those moments still come, even 7 years after losing my own Mom...but they are much less frequent. Still intense and always hard to stuff back down, but at least less frequent.

yelling near you

Grief is a sneaky bastard that will linger in the shadows and sneak up on you when you least expect it. I've lost many close family members - both young and untimely and old - so I've been there too and have to say, don't feel any pressure to grieve. At the same time - don't fight it.

Dawn

You sound like you are processing your grief just fine to me. Everyone grieves in their own way and on their own time. I lost my dear grandmother (who helped raise me) when my first child was 3 months old. I was devastated; but I had a job, a husband, a house, a baby, a dog and a cat to take care of so life went on. I was much like you just pushing it down because I had so much to do. I wondered if that was the right thing to do and now 18 years later I realize it was the ONLY thing I could have done. I wasn't happy I didn't have time to grieve, but I didn't want to wallow in it either. You are doing just fine. The pain will ease with time and it will all fall together eventually.

Ginny

Oh sweetie. Let it come when it comes, but don't try to hold it in. But then again, don't listen to me if you don't want to. It's just my opinion, from experience, that it's better out than in. Hugs.

Plano Mom

It gets easier, I promise. Not for a while, and not at all like you want it to. But it does get easier.

Almost 29 years for me, on October 24.

jaclynn

oh amy that "you can let go" commercial KILLS me EVERY TIME and i haven't even lost my dad...i'm so so so sorry amy that you're going through all this :(

Sarah

Virtual hugs to you and your mom.

Kristina

I so get this post. After my mom passed away two years ago some of her friends put together a scrapbook with memories of her. It took me nearly two years to even open the book. Similar to you, my mom was diagnosed with cancer (pancreatic) shortly after my 3rd son was born. I felt like I was two different people: the daughter with a mom dying of cancer and the mom with 3 boys. Life for us had to go on, even as she was dying. And after, life still went on. My dad's grief was raw and present and profound, but mine lays lower under the surface but it's still there and pops up when I'm not expecting it.

jaelithe

My stepmother died over a decade ago and this still happens to me sometimes.

I think what gets better over time is your ability to accept a permanent tear in the fabric of your life. These feelings of missing a person who by all that is just should just BE HERE do not go away. But eventually they become expected, familiar. Sudden reminders of absence still come and still hurt but stop knocking the wind out of you.

Your husband just wants to take care of you but I don't think anyone can tell anyone else how to grieve. Still, I do hope you are remembering to be gentle with yourself.

Anna-Marie

My dad died on July 31. Days go by fine with all the things that go into living with two young boys and a husband and things to do, but oh the nights when the lights are out...

Kelly

I will be having my Dad's first grandchild (I am an only child), hopefully next week. He died July 1. I am pretty scared about how emotional I will be when our baby arrives...but in the meantime I try to deal with the pain the same way you do - humor. I was in my first birthing class a few weeks after losing my Dad and I was that tough girl who isn't effected by the "beauty" of birth - I just want my drugs. Then we sit down during the relaxation exercise (first time I have been alone with my thoughts in weeks) and I start to sob - I mean can't catch my breath sobbing. I am sure everyone in the class thought I had finally had my break through moment of my flower blooming. Thanks for helping me through...your humor does it everytime for me.

Kim

Everyone is right about the non-linear nature of grief. I lost my mom 5+ years ago and the sense of loss comes and goes in waves. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, other days it feels less raw, more...peaceful in my head. You're getting through life and moving forward because you have to, plain and simple. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you take a few mascara-be-damned moments every now and then. (I usually reserved my extra crazy time for the shower...no one to hear the sobs and no make-up to worry about.)

sheilah

I haven't read all the comments but I noticed one as I scrolled down. Hilary said that "grief is not linear..." This is so true. i have heard grief described more as a spiral that overlaps and moves back on itself. It never really ends.

My parents died over 20 years ago and there are still times when I feel the hotness in the back of my eyes. You feel it, and then move on. That is life.

Erika Mitchell

I have no idea how you'd even make time to properly grieve with such cute, active kids around. I personally don't like crying in front of Aidan, so I understand the dilemma.

For what it's worth, little fits and starts of grief here and there, if that's what's available to you, seem just fine to me.

Erika Mitchell

I have no idea how you'd even make time to properly grieve with such cute, active kids around. I personally don't like crying in front of Aidan, so I understand the dilemma.

For what it's worth, little fits and starts of grief here and there, if that's what's available to you, seem just fine to me.

Anonymous

I'm in that same place. I threw myself back into work too soon, and now I'm holding it together on the outside and broken on the inside. You do need to take some time for yourself at some point. I know you have it in you, but you don't need to be strong all the time. It's okay to grieve.

Anonymous

I'm in that same place. I threw myself back into work too soon, and now I'm holding it together on the outside and broken on the inside. You do need to take some time for yourself at some point. I know you have it in you, but you don't need to be strong all the time. It's okay to grieve.

Amy

I lost my day 5/2007. I did not cry for months and then, the same thing, I watched some random movie and it the end the father dies and the little boy throws a rose into the grave and the floodgates opened. Don't over think it. It is ok to live, it is what he would want. And when you need to cry, let it out. If feels so much better afterwards. 4 years later I still miss him. He did not see me get married or meet his grandkid so you have that ;) Amy

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Thinking of you. (And your mom.)

Beth

Oh Amy,

I don't know you of course. And I didn't know your dad. But I can tell that you had/have the incredibly wonderfully rare parent/child relationship that some people never experience.

I was that lucky with my mom who died from cancer in December, 2009. Fuck cancer, indeed...I want to tell you that you'll find the perfect time and place and that grieving will be this discrete thing that will happen and get over with. Maybe for some people it is that way, but for most of us, especially busy mothers, I suspect that grief looks a lot more like the seeping at the edges that you so beautifully describe. And heavens, you have a new little guy who takes up SO much energy and time, plus two other faboo kids, who also take up their fair share of time! It's okay to snooze the grief at times, I think. Because you're not really denying it -- you can't really deny it, sadly, but you have to keep functioning for the most part.

It sounds like you have a wonderful husband who will be there for you to take the spaces -- small though they may be -- to grieve as you need. I want to be encouraging, and I will tell you that it's getting a little bit less raw. But goddamn it's still there. Every single day. I'm finally coming to the conclusion that I wouldn't want it to go away because somehow that would deny that the most crucially awful thing in my life was really there. My mom is a part of everything I am, everything I do.

He loves you so much. So many people clearly do. I'm sorry it's so hard and I wish I had easy answers. But I'm awfully glad you have his love...

Thinking of you.

CC

I do the same thing. My dad died this past year and I've only done the '"little" cry. You know, where you shed two tears, swallow like you think you're supposed, and make a fart joke. Because Dad would have wanted that. Yes, even the fart joke. That man loved dirty jokes of all kinds.

Even though he had been sick for some time, his death still felt ... sudden. Christmas really sucked that year because that was his favorite holiday.

I remember, right after he died, there was this Gillette commercial. It said, there are a million people in the world but only one dad. I f*cking hated that commerial. I threw a shoe at the TV. Everytime. That's healing though, right? Yeah, whatever, it's fart joke time.

Jamie

I know that grief, or at least something very similar. Yesterday would have been my Dad's 60th birthday. He died 9 years ago from cancer when I was 18. My family kept a lot of, or all of, the details from me at that age. I never even researched his type of cancer, never knew any details of it, because I pushed my grief aside for a long time. But yesterday on his birthday I looked it up and I learned he was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer. I learned that the 5 year survival rate for stage IV throat cancer is 30%. My dad survived with his stage IV cancer for five years. After seeing those statistics I suddenly felt really lucky for being in that small 30%. If not for that, I wouldn't have had a father through high school. I know that it's difficult, and it always will be, but it might help to think of your father's life that way. And be grateful for all the years you two WERE able to share. Some might say this is a coping mechanism, but who cares if it is? It works for me... to some degree.

Jamie

I know that grief, or at least something very similar. Yesterday would have been my Dad's 60th birthday. He died 9 years ago from cancer when I was 18. My family kept a lot of, or all of, the details from me at that age. I never even researched his type of cancer, never knew any details of it, because I pushed my grief aside for a long time. But yesterday on his birthday I looked it up and I learned he was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer. I learned that the 5 year survival rate for stage IV throat cancer is 30%. My dad survived with his stage IV cancer for five years. After seeing those statistics I suddenly felt really lucky for being in that small 30%. If not for that, I wouldn't have had a father through high school. I know that it's difficult, and it always will be, but it might help to think of your father's life that way. And be grateful for all the years you two WERE able to share. Some might say this is a coping mechanism, but who cares if it is? It works for me... to some degree.

Amy

Everyone involved in the making of that PSA needs to be drowned in a tank of tears. Fucking SERIOUSLY?? What is the point, other than to make people cry? My dad's still alive and I cried. Jesus. Sadistic bastards.

Being Mom sucks. You don't get to fall apart when tiny people need you. You have to just keep on going to karate and buying cat food.

I hope you know, though, that you don't always have to be the strong one. Sometimes it's ok to ruin your mascara.

pbblythe

Strangely enough I'm also at the tech conference near Disney. (Waves HI! in the general direction of happyland.)

The grief is like the path of a comet - coming closer and passing farther away depending on what I see on the internet, what photo I happen to have fall out of a book or some box I crack open in the garage. Predictability is in the future, but it may take some rocket scientists to figure it out.

Liana

Grief never quite ends. Different grief for different losses...but still. All grief. And each can rear at any moment, no matter how long ago (or how great or how seemingly small) the loss. But that's okay.
It's very, absolutely, okay.
(((HUG)))

PopMommy Pam

So sorry, Amy. I hope writing helps you because your words help so many of us. What a beautiful relationship you had with your Dad.

erin

:( thinking of u and mom and sending love

Julie

Ohhhh hugs to you! So beautifully written.

Aimee

I started reading this blog because of the Star Wars references (our first daughter is named Leia). I kept reading it for the nuggets of humor and familiarity in your observations. Our second daughter was born in mid-July, so I felt like we were pregnant together (somewhat) and I've enjoyed watching Ike grow. But unfortunately, we also have losing our fathers in common. Mine died four and a half months ago with no warning and this post captures exactly how I feel and how my mom is feeling; but if I were writing it, I would have to add how being an only child gives me a responsibility I don't want but have to handle, both for my mother and for carrying on for my father. I empathize with your pushing the grieving away - how can you possibly allow yourself the space to grieve when you barely have the space to function?

April G

I wish i could say i didn't understand. I wish I could say I'm sorry for your loss and leave it at that. However I understand all to well. My mom died 5 month 21 weeks ago my daughter was born 21 weeks and 4 days ago a constant reminder of how long my mom has been gone. My daughter is my first child and would have been my mothers first grandchild. I haven't had time yet to sit down and look at pictures, to remember, to cry. I have been busy washing bottles finding day-care, working full time, giving baths putting it off. I wonder if i will just snap at some point, i wonder if i will stop crying when things get too quite.

Good luck Amy, I hope both you and I find a little time but not too much.

Mary

OMG that video. I know you warned us, but DAMMIT. Totally sobbing over here. My dad died 17 years ago Friday and I still miss him so.

((((Hugs to you.)))

A Regular Reader Who Wishes To Remain Nameless Because Oh, The Shame

I couldn't even WATCH the video you posted. My father died in the spring of 2010; he had lived with me since his stroke in 1993--I was his only child, and he and my mother were divorced when I was a toddler. He died last year and I have not even probated his will yet, Amy. There, I've said it. I have not even probated his will. Every time I fetch the files and put them in front of me, I burst into tears. Yeah, I've got a problem. Don't tell anybody, though.

Lynda Otvos

Grieving is hard as hell. I lost my only and younger sister at 49 in the Summer of 2008; while still, three years later, crying every day for her, our younger brother drops dead on his 48th. I may never see a full day that doesn’t contain tears and memories and wishing for it all to be a nightmare from which I will awaken crying but still an older sister.

Lynda Otvos

Grieving is hard as hell. I lost my only and younger sister at 49 in the Summer of 2008; while still, three years later, crying every day for her, our younger brother drops dead on his 48th. I may never see a full day that doesn’t contain tears and memories and wishing for it all to be a nightmare from which I will awaken crying but still an older sister.

Megan

Yeah, that. I'm sorry.

Megan

Yeah, that. I'm sorry.

firewings

I'm lurker since way back before Noah was born and I just wanted to write and say, my condolences. I lost my Dad four years ago to cancer too and a relate a bit.

I remember scaring my roommate with a lack of tears until I had a meltdown at a Red Lobster that was ever so graceful. He was glad because the something about me had seemed...off to him. And that's not something you can tell someone in their grief - it's theirs after all. Thing is, I was initially relieved for a while because the suffering was just so bad. It was finally rest for him and a temporary closure for my Mom and I. That relief overshadowed the grief for us.

The tears did eventually come...and sometimes it's strangely felt like I was connecting to him with those tears.

Sappy, but true.

Cheryl

hang in there amy. you said it perfectly...I've been hitting the snooze button on losing my mom for almost a year now. I feel guilty, but I will deal with it when I am ready, not when everyone expects me to be ready. you are doing just fine...or a bunch of us are crazy...take your pick!!! :)

Allison

My dad died at 64 (mind you I'm only 27 and an only child) very unexpectedly almost two months ago to the day. His health my entire life had never been great, heart attacks, minor strokes, seizures, hip replacements, etc. I knew he would die sooner rather than later, but I thought I had more time. I mean he had been asking about grandchildren – I thought we had a few more good years, but now he is gone.

Grief for me comes in waves. Mostly I am fine. Working, volunteering, fixing dinner with my husband, etc. Then a preview for a movie or a review for an album I know he'd love will come on and before I know it I am sitting at my computer sobbing.

My parents were divorced, but my mom took care of him for the last few years or so. Her grief is very pronounced and loud, which of course makes me crazy and miss him even more.

After talking to some acquaintances who have also lost parents, it seems that the grief never goes away. Yes, it might appear less frequently, but we'll always miss them.

Anyhow, I rarely comment, but I so enjoy your blog and the slice of life you share. I am thinking of you and your family! This is not an easy or fun process at all.

Allison

My dad died at 64 (mind you I'm only 27 and an only child) very unexpectedly almost two months ago to the day. His health my entire life had never been great, heart attacks, minor strokes, seizures, hip replacements, etc. I knew he would die sooner rather than later, but I thought I had more time. I mean he had been asking about grandchildren – I thought we had a few more good years, but now he is gone.

Grief for me comes in waves. Mostly I am fine. Working, volunteering, fixing dinner with my husband, etc. Then a preview for a movie or a review for an album I know he'd love will come on and before I know it I am sitting at my computer sobbing.

My parents were divorced, but my mom took care of him for the last few years or so. Her grief is very pronounced and loud, which of course makes me crazy and miss him even more.

After talking to some acquaintances who have also lost parents, it seems that the grief never goes away. Yes, it might appear less frequently, but we'll always miss them.

Anyhow, I rarely comment, but I so enjoy your blog and the slice of life you share. I am thinking of you and your family! This is not an easy or fun process at all.

Margie

I've got a few movies that do it to me every time. Last night I came across some letters he sent to his parents when he was in law school and could barely contemplate the idea that they were there, if you know what I mean. I haven't read them yet. I went to law school after he died and I often wonder what advice he would have had for me then and now, and then here are these letters? Dang. Also, avoid Big Fish. That one about did me in. Especially if you loved the movie Annie growing up. And Crash. Man, it sucks missing all these lost dads we all have.

Hairy Farmer Family

I'm so very sorry, Amy. Your father sounded such a wonderful chap.

And...Wow. That commercial is really quite unsettlingly something.

Taylor

ohhhh whyyyy did you make me watch that? WHY DID THEY MAKE SUCH A SAD COMMERCIAL?

I have to go sob now. kthanxbye.

Sara

You sound SO healthy to me! I'm afraid to watch that commercial. I get the Father of the Bride thing - for me its the scene in Mamma Mia where the mother is brushing the daughters hair before her wedding. I was sobbing during the play and my poor friend just had no idea why until it hit her. It will continue to hit you from nowhere...ten years for me this year without my mom here in the present...but she's here always! Hugs. (it would have been my parents 50th anniversary last week...)

anna

I'm coming up on 10 years next week that my dad has been gone. I still get the days where small things make me think of him and I cry, or a picture or something one of my children does (he never met them as they are 3 and 1). I will tell you though it does become less, less raw, less lengthy, less painful but you never stop missing him.

anna

I'm coming up on 10 years next week that my dad has been gone. I still get the days where small things make me think of him and I cry, or a picture or something one of my children does (he never met them as they are 3 and 1). I will tell you though it does become less, less raw, less lengthy, less painful but you never stop missing him.

Kim

I lost my dad in 1998. That commercial slayed me. I'm still waiting to chalk "grieving-done" off of my list, but I don't see it happening soon.

Just.... hugs.

French Kate

I'm with Anna and Kim and all your other posters. My personal experience of grief is that the hole in your life doesn't ever go away; you just get better at stepping around those edges. There will always be the worse days though: weddings, anniversaries, graduation. Days when he should be with you. Does it make it any better to also say that I'm sure the pain has made me a more empathetic person? I know that's a cliché but I think it's the truth.

On a happier note, I'm days late, but the video montage of Noah made me cry. I have a little girl the same age, so seeing him grow up so beautifully speaks to me some. Happy belated birthday to Noah.

laura

my mom died last november, and i still cry all the time. at the most random random things ever - and usually when i'm in the most awkward situation ever. shopping. work. starbucks. grocery store. driving down the highway. it hurts so deep, i just can't get beyond the grief.

maybe someday? keep trooping. xo

Marnie

You've given such great advice to so many other people, so I'm going to use your own words: It's normal. Completely normal. We all process grief differently. So the way you're doing it is completely fine.

JBre

I just forwarded this to my hubby. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 11 months. Concentrating on a hyper 1-2 year old, a new baby, parties, holidays, work, organize, shop, organize more, clean, on and on and on. He keeps asking when he can expect the breakdown....

JBre

I just forwarded this to my hubby. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 11 months. Concentrating on a hyper 1-2 year old, a new baby, parties, holidays, work, organize, shop, organize more, clean, on and on and on. He keeps asking when he can expect the breakdown....

JBre

I just forwarded this to my hubby. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 11 months. Concentrating on a hyper 1-2 year old, a new baby, parties, holidays, work, organize, shop, organize more, clean, on and on and on. He keeps asking when he can expect the breakdown....

JBre

I just forwarded this to my hubby. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 11 months. Concentrating on a hyper 1-2 year old, a new baby, parties, holidays, work, organize, shop, organize more, clean, on and on and on. He keeps asking when he can expect the breakdown....

JBre

I just forwarded this to my hubby. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 11 months. Concentrating on a hyper 1-2 year old, a new baby, parties, holidays, work, organize, shop, organize more, clean, on and on and on. He keeps asking when he can expect the breakdown....

Sarah

You always manage to put my feelings into words. I wish I had seen the post about the thumbprint necklace, when it mattered... Your musings are incredibally cathartic. Thanks!

Sarah

You always manage to put my feelings into words. I wish I had seen the post about the thumbprint necklace, when it mattered... Your musings are incredibally cathartic. Thanks!

Sarah

You always manage to put my feelings into words. I wish I had seen the post about the thumbprint necklace, when it mattered... Your musings are incredibally cathartic. Thanks!

ladotyk

I know exactly what you mean. My father was dying of cancer and we both knew he would not be able to attend my wedding the following year. On a whim we decided to watch "Father of the Bride" together and it was so emotionally painful to sit side by side with my dad while we watched Steve Martin loose his daughter.

God, it's been 12 years and 'm crying again.

Rachael

Just (hugs). That's all.

Rachael

Just (hugs). That's all.

Quinn

So I'm guessing at this point you've heard of Kubler-Ross's stages of grief, and you or someone is all "You have to ACCEPT this, you're in DENIAL, yadda yadda yadda."

Kubler-Ross was an amazing woman and really opened up the field of grieving, but her stages are a little outdated. There's another model for grieving (actually there are several more), called the Dual Process Model. The dual process model posits that the grieving process is divided between two types of tasks, the teary loss kind and the continuing with your life kind. (The continuing with your life kind *is* a kind of grieving because you have to learn how to live without the person in your life.) People naturally go back and forth between those two as they can handle it. They unconsciously know how much of the teary loss grieving they can handle at any given point, and they dose themselves with that amount before going back to the other kind of grieving.

In other words, Amalah, you are grieving exactly as you need to be grieving. You are taking care of and loving those little boys, and that doesn't mean you're grieving your father any less than your mom or anyone else. You are doing things just right.

Dawn

My kids were around the same age as yours when my mother passed away from cancer. I handled it pretty much the same way, shoving it down inside a very deep box in the back of my brain and slamming the lid down tight. Because what else are you gonna do when you have little ones to care for? You don't have the luxury of attending to your need to grieve in the same way.

Hang in there. You're grieving when and as you can and you'll process it in your own time.

Also, I may have to go postal on the association that had that commercial made. Way to make Miss-I-Never-Cry leak from the eyeballs in a very suspicious manner. Sheesh!

Heidi

I'm jealous. How wrong is that? I lost my mom to cancer 3.29.10. Six months later I was pregnant (also with my 3rd and due around the same time as you) and went into survival mode. I was so worried about losing the pregnancy due to stress that I developed a don't deal with it superpower. Now that my little guy is here and we're settled in as a family I'm getting slammed against the wall. She was 59 at diagnosis, and had just turned 61 when she died, and I feel so cheated. And alone -- so alone. My grief has come in waves, the current one being one of the biggest. I'm reading "Parentless Parents" right now, and though I can only stand to read a page or two at a time it helps. I still have my dad, but he's in a very different place, enjoying dating after 40 years of marriage, etc. If you ever find yourself feeling lonely I'd recommend it. Hugs to you.

vmami

I think there are several types of grief. Grieving when you've lost someone you loved - and then grieving for someone you loved and you were close to. The first grief I think hits at once and takes a few months to cry all out. You get sad at all the firsts - first christmas, first birthday, first anniversary. Then the second year is better.

The second kind of grief is the beyotch of grief. This kind of grief is so big, so enormous, so huge that there is no way to handle it all at once. You have to open the door, a peep at a time to even look at it and the crying that pours forth from it is tantamount to Niagara Falls. Imagine if you actually tried to process that grief all at once? I don't think it's possible. I think if anyone tried to process this grief all at once you'd end up in shock. Because of its enormity this kind of grief does not end quickly - it takes a long time to process - and you are not alone and you are okay. It will be okay. It will. love, vmami

Sue

I clicked! I CLICKED!! Oh why did I click........

Kristin

Thank you so much for writing this. Our dads both died of cancer within a week of each other, and your posts have always mirrored my feelings of grief and loss. While I didn't have a baby in the midst of this tumultuous time, I did end up having 4 major surgeries in the three months after his death, and feel as if I've been "just too busy" healing myself to grieve properly. While I'm not happy to know that someone else is experience the enormity of loss, it is comforting to know that we're not alone in this terrible experience. It is so hard dealing with loss and grief yourself, let alone for your mom, too. I sometimes become frustrated with my mom, and then have to realize that she is 51 and facing a life without the love of her life. Sometimes life is good, but sometimes it just sucks. Big time.

shadymama

can i just tell you that i pay my (new-age-white-light-sage-burning) therapist good money to sit in her office and wail.

^ cavalier, but really. woman's a shaman and nothing beats a safe place to express.

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