I started this blog almost one month ago.
I have been surprised how hard it is to formulate the words that fit with what swirls within me. So many times I have sat at the keyboard and started a sentence or two, contemplated, closed my computer and somehow concluded not yet today.
I am not sure that my thoughts are any more clear today than they were a month ago. This is the sixth week since my Dad died. I will say that the journey of grief is more unpredictable than I was prepared for.
Have you stood on the shore and watched the power of the waves. There is a power that comes with the bigger waves. You can watch it build and come with some momentum and then it breaks. Then there is rippling from those waves that continue for quite some time. Then the water stills, but in time, there is another big wave, and then ripples, and waves and ripples. This is how I find my grief journey has been.
There are many moments that I feel like the sadness of missing my Dad comes over me like a wave. This wave can take my breath away for a moment and require me to take a deep breath. Grief is powerful and has the momentum to disrupt almost every part of your being.
Then there are other times where grief comes in ripples. This is much more common. I feel the ripples in my heart and soul almost all the time, but they are not always disruptive. Sometimes one can stand at the shore, and the ripples just seem part of the way the water is moving. What I appreciate about the ripples of grief is that they allow for more than the feeling of sadness. When grief is present in ripples, there is room to feel the goodness and the joy
In six weeks time, our lives have been full. There was Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and July 4. We celebrated Ellie’s graduation, the following birthdays: Hermie’s 91st, Jonna 50th, Suzi’s 40th, Peter’s 15th, Janneke’s 25th, Matt’s 27th and Sonta’s 20th. There has been a weekend away to Milwaukee, lots of baseball games and family gatherings. Then there is the never-ending tending to details that need attention when someone you love dies. Six weeks in the Borgdorff family brings lots of activity.
It is good to be together in our grief and in our joy. The other night one of the kids was crying. “What is wrong?”, an adult asked. “She is grieving” was her mother’s reply. It is just like that in our world right now. We all feel the ripples and waves and are learning to how to navigate the absence of a good husband, Dad, Papa and friend.
In a text with my Mom tonight I mentioned that my heart is overflowing right now and I am sure that in time, the tears will not consume so much space. In response she said, “And the tears are welcome, sometimes unexpected. I get it. The tender parts of our hearts are touched unexpectedly, and it shows. There is nothing the matter with that.”
I am grateful for people who stand in the water with me/us and bear the weight of the waves and understand the ripples.
I am grateful for people who understand that when you lose someone you love, sadness is just part of your being, but grief does not consume your being.
And I am thankful for a community which surrounds us with love, kindness, and goodness as we move forward into each day, living just as my Dad modeled, one day at a time!