Grief is a four letter word

Ehh close enough. Loss is a four letter word, and it’s just as dirty.

A friend of mine shared a poignant post earlier today: “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers at the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” Jamie Anderson.

I don’t know Jamie Anderson but their words speak volumes.

It’s now the second week my father has been gone, and the loss hasn’t dulled. If anything, it’s heightened in the little things that are missing, such as the random email i would get saying “hey putz what dimensions do you want the bookshelf to be”? (Although in the later years he’s replaced putz with “my love” as he clearly softened with age); or the comments on my photos “so chubby i luv it”; or the text with picture of weird animals he had caught in the yard to be released in the preserve, that i don’t get anymore. It’s heightened when something he would appreciate happens that i can’t tell him about – that love, with no place to go.

There are other outlets for it though. Since my mother has unblocked my phone on her cell (accidentally, something my father would appreciate tremendously) SHE is the recipient of these texts. My poor husband catches it even more, and i squeeze the crap out of my babies – but it doesn’t dull or remove the pain that’s ever present.

We lost another family member this last week. My fathers best friend, Sweetie, passed away. I’m sure the two of them are raising hell in Heaven, smoking doobs (we all knew, Dad) as they are watching over us. There’s little comfort in that too, but maybe one day we’ll feel it.

It’s almost been a week

Since my father passed away. It was abrupt. It came out of left field. We didn’t see it coming, and quite frankly it still doesn’t seem real. My heart aches because he was a good man, and he had so much left to offer. My heart aches for my mother, she should be able to spend the rest of her life with the man she has loved since she was 16. My heart aches because my kids won’t experience the joy he felt when he saw them. Jacob is too young and the memory’s Dalton has of grandpa tickling him and fishing are sure to fade.

I know my father knew i loved him, but i can’t remember the last time i specifically told him. He surprised me when he came by with my mother a few weeks ago, and she was able to take some great pictures of him with the baby but i used the time to clean up and work, not catch up and talk. He would always comment and like on the photos i posted of my boys in our shared albums – and I’ll miss that. Knowing he was always there, peering into our daily lives.

My father was a good man. He was loyal, caring, and he left his mark on the world and anyone who was lucky enough to meet him. His laughter was loud, his wit was fierce. He taught me how to be strong. He was blessed with two daughters, and he raised us to not see any differences in what we can do versus what men can do. He was smart, sarcastic, and on occasion, serious. We always had to warn people when they first met him “he’s big, and he’s kind of scary, but don’t worry”

Don’t worry – his bark is worse than his bite. Don’t worry – he’s just testing you. He was checking to see if you had the mental fortitude to become one of his people; and if you did, you were in for life.

My dad was thoughtful. He took the films from when my mother and him got married and turned them into a beautiful album, giving it to her as an anniversary gift a few years ago. Scrolling through you can see the care he put towards choosing the pictures he felt best portrayed the tremendous love he felt for her.

My dad would refer to his best friend as Sweetie (John callee him Snookums). He made sure my mother knew he loved her every single day. When my husband asked him if he could marry me, my father said “you sure? She’s a real pain in the ass”. If he joked with you, he loved you.

He was the first person to meet Jacob, and waited outside with donuts until he barreled his way into L&D. He wouldn’t leave until he saw us. At the time i was sore, annoyed and exhausted. Looking back, i know he wanted to make sure we were okay.

He always wanted to make sure his family was okay.

The sadness we feel may lessen as time goes by, but it will never go away. We’ll see him in the little things we do every day, and miss him forever. I thought we had at least 20 more years.

If you take nothing away, remind the people you love how you feel. You never know when they may not be around. If the strongest man i knew could be taken; it just proves how fragile and fleeting life is. They may KNOW you love them, but you’ll take comfort in knowing you made sure.

❤ you always, Grand Boobar.