My dad died, and I’m not Ok.

My dad died. I keep saying this in hopes it sets in.

Loss is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Losing a parent who was truly good is devastating. My dad was truly good.

What happened with dad sticks out. It has been the most traumatic event of my life.

How do you tell people you’re not ok? but you’re still going about life? How do you explain going from perfectly normal one day to nearly breaking down, either from grief or anger, or the slightest inconvenience?

How do you answer the most dreaded question, “How are you doing?”

I’ve found the most random triggers are the worst.

Mere words, smells or songs will recall memories which then bring on waves of intense grief crashing over me.

How do you deal with this?

I’m not talking about the support groups, the therapists, the books etc.

Truly, I am glad these things provide support and comfort to others.

Something tells me that my part in this entire situation is time, the minutes, the hours, the days. Time, the most misunderstood and consistent thing we humans ever experience, is the only thing that will, eventually, provide the slightest comfort.

Unfortunately, time does not care about how I feel or whether not I want to move it more quickly or slowly. It simply exists.

To get through I’ve leaned on those who have experienced loss first hand. Firsthand experience is the most valuable thing as I navigate life without my dad. I am grateful to those who have been generous enough and shared with me.

I am also extremely grateful for the people who quite honestly told me they had no idea what I was going through but were thinking of me nonetheless. The honest awareness comforts me in it’s own strange way.  It is a recognition of my pain, and sometimes that is all you want.

Yet, I am still not ok.

The most confounding part is that i’m going to work, paying my bills, reading news and otherwise acting normal. My dads death hasn’t resulted in any spectacular public meltdowns or emotional explosions.

Rather, it’s just this tepid, trickle of sadness mixed with anger.

Since we live in a society driven by labels it seems wrong to be multiple things at once: sad, smiling, hopeful, giving up, trying, angry, accepting.

The fact is, that I cannot control my emotions regardless of how much cardio I do, or how much ice cream I eat. My emotions are very much present.

From what I’ve gathered, grief never goes away. You simply learn to live with it. You adjust your sails.

So, I wait. I wait as the the moments turn into hours and then into days. All I can do is let time continue on. That’s the best I can do.

And that’s ok.

Grief is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We have no control over it.

And so while I adjust to grief, the fact is that it’s never going to be on my preferred schedule. So, it’s about adjusting my sails, holding on and trying to get through.

And, that’s ok.

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