After the Storm Passes

Anyone that has lost a loved one knows all too well that the grieving begins after the funeral is over.  The immediate family returns home to significant void.  The night my father passed we walked into the house to find his coat hanging in the closet and his slippers next to the couch glaring at us.  Golf clubs still in the garage waiting for my Dad to get better for just one more round of golf.  We still awkwardly make our way around my father’s chair.  Many times we think, do we sit there or not?  Constant reminders of my father are scattered throughout the house.  If I close my eyes and concentrate sometimes I can still hear his laugh.

Good intentions of well wishers vanish into thin air.  The immediate family is left with a broken heart, a massive void in the family and a few hefty bags of the deceased loved ones belongings.

Every single relationship in your life is reevaluated.  Friendships are now ranked by who offered condolences, who texted you, who picked up the phone and maybe even who “liked” your latest photo of your deceased loved one on social media.  Did they read between the lines today and “get it?”  Do they know that today is the day your grief is so overwhelming that you feel like Rose on the Titanic desperately searching for Jack or some sort of life support?  Is their crystal ball working today????  

Since my Dad passed my entire life has evolved into a combination of countdowns and firsts.  It’s been 3 and a half months since my Dad passed.  Meaning it’s been three and a half months since I heard my father’s voice, held his hand, kissed and hugged him.  It’s been countless phone calls without hearing my father’s voice say, “It’s my Lisa Mia!” Other than my grandfather who is also passed, no one calls me Lisa Mia.  It’s been my first Valentines Day, first Easter, now my first Mother’s Day the first of many dreaded firsts in 2016.  Saturday was the first time I saw my father’s name etched in stone at his grave.  After some gut wrenching sobs I blew kisses to his name, looked up at the sky and whispered, “I love you Dad.”  

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Slowly, you begin to rank relationships based on who reached out to you on those firsts because you begin to realize this is your life support when the tidal waves of grief come crashing down.

One thing grief does is it opens your eyes to one’s true colors.  You quickly learn the meaning of actions speak louder than words.  You find yourself silently observing what a person does because it tells you who they really are.

I’m sure there are some that find this blog too sobering and are one click away from the block button.  I’m ok with that!  But before you do, I urge you to take a peek.  Lately I find myself saying, “If only I knew then what I know now.”  

Often times I find myself thinking of my friends who lost loved ones prior to my Dad’s passing.   I hope that I was as supportive to them as they have been to me.  Did I send a card, basket or express condolences like countless others have done for me.  Or did I just pretend that their loved one never died like some have done to me?  Did I pass someone by shortly after the death of their beloved loved one and not offer condolences?  Gosh, I hope not because I now know how agonizing this pain is, and I now understand that as time passes you WANT to remember your loved one.

Losing someone you love is painful.  Grieving is a personal and individual experience.  But sadly, we will all grieve at one point in life.  Why not be that person that picks up the phone or sends a text?

Why not be the person who is there after the storm passes? 

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10 thoughts on “After the Storm Passes

  1. Pingback: After the Storm Passes — love is infinite | caribbeanvoice

  2. Hey Lisa,
    I just want you to know that I went thru a whole summer, it will be 10 years this year, with my dad being sick, he went in for heart surgery and never fully recovered and never came home..he wasnt sick as long as your dad was, but it consumed me, my family and my mom that summer…at the same time my sister had a stroke and was in the hospital also. We never told my dad, and my sister never recovered and my brother in law had to make a difficult decision. She passed Sept 8th and my dad passed Oct 24th. He never knew about her, but one day told us Vicki was there , and we all said, she probably was! it was hard going to work and always having my cell close by, talking to doctors, etc. My mom also had a brain aneurysm, about a year after my sister and dad died..She had to relearn to walk and speak, but she recovered fully. She is now 91 and living in assisted living, her mind is going, but still here.

    I remember the hardest thing was going to our Christmas Party that year, I figured it was good for me to go, but while there, for some reason I felt very sad and just not wanting to be there. I cried alot on my way home from everyday, whenever I heard a certain song. It took about 2 years or so to kind of move on, but we all miss him to this dad, he made us laugh alot…its funny but whenever I say something like he would, they tell me “grandpa is still here”, even my grandson, Ryan who is 4, tells us, he has seen Pop Pop, now mind you he wasnt born, and we really never talked about him to him, but he pointed him out in a picture we had, me and my daughter got chills.

    They are still with us everyday, I know that…I pray to him and my sister alot.

    Sorry to be so long, thank you for letting me share…this blog is such a blessing for you and your your family. Take care Love, Kathy (McGovern)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kathy, I’m so sorry, I had no idea. Thank you for sharing and reading. I’m happy to share and hear from everyone 🙂 There are times my Dad’s presence is so strong it give me great comfort. I miss him, but I know he’s in a better place waiting for us. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will never forget the moment my dad passed. I was holding his hand as it happened, watching the monitor for the last signs of life when he squeezed my hand. I gasped and looked at his face and then when I looked back at the screen he was gone. For one brief second I felt like he was coming back, and it was that one second that took him away from me. I don’t remember holding my dad’s hand in life many times, if at all, but I can never forget the last time I did. May you find peace and joy in the memories and celebrate his life by living yours to the fullest.

    Like

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