The Life of Bon: Hurt less, love more

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hurt less, love more


^^My dad with his grandchild, Emily.

^^ One of my favorite pictures ever- my dad and three of my brothers looking on.

November will mark four years since my dad's death.  Each year, around the end of October, I take a deep breath, clench my fists and do my best to charge through November- as if my own determindedness and impious stubbornness could make the month speed by faster and therefore not allow me any time to feel the pain associated with the anniversary of my dad's death.

It never works.  But I still try nonetheless.

The weird thing about losing someone is that it really never stops hurting.

It stops bleeding profusely, yes. It stops throbbing, perhaps.  But it doesn't stop hurting.  It doesn't hurt every second of every day.  No, not at all.  Some days go by virtually pain free.  Days are busy and full and you don't remember that you lost your dad or that if he were still alive he would have called you to see how your new job is going or that this is his favorite time of year. Some days you don't think about it.

And so a day will go by without hurting.  A week.  Two weeks, even.  But the hurt is still there, hidden in the recesses of my heart and cruelly, it sits, always ready to pounce.  And then one day it returns- the unannounced and unwanted remembrance that gosh, I miss my dad.

A sudden longing for my dad came unannounced a few days ago.  It was triggered by a dream I had had about him.  (FYI... in Spanish they change the preposition that goes along with dream.  Instead of dreaming "of" or "about" someone you dream "with" them.  In my head now I always think of dreaming this way.  Such a prettier way to put it... I dreamed with my dad.  As if I weren't alone in my dreaming... as if he were dreaming too, actively involved in the dreaming, doing something with me.)

In the dream my dad was here with my family.  I don't know if he was back from the dead or if he had never died or what he was doing living on this earth, quite frankly.  He was just here. He gave of each of his eight children a letter that contained his last words to us.  Everything important that he wanted us to know was in that letter.  They were individualized and full of inside jokes and tender sentiments and all the reasons he loved us.  In his letter he called me his favorite nickname, "Bopper" and "child I love so much."

When I woke up I felt almost paralyzed with grief and anger.  I was mad that I didn't have a letter, a goodbye, a "I'm leaving you now."  What in the world is fair about not saying goodbye to your dad?  I sat up in bed, took a deep breath and wondered while I choked back the tears, "Gosh. Will this ever stop hurting?"

I don't know the answer to that question, but after 1400+ dad-less days I suspect that the answer is no, it doesn't ever stop hurting.  The hardest part, I decided, about losing my dad at 23 is knowing that my children will live their entire mortal life without knowing him.  It is this thought, more than any other, that lingers so painfully.  I am wildly jealous of my four oldest siblings who had children before my dad died.  Why couldn't I have been older too?  Why couldn't I have just one child who will have memories of his "baba"?  I try to chase the thought out of my mind, instead imagining my dad and my unborn children hanging out together now, even as I write this.  If nothing else, it helps calm my troubled heart.

And so I try to focus on the positive and remember happy memories and thank God for the time I did have and not be a total drag on Greg or my family by holding onto pain that needs to be released.  But the fact is I like remembering my dad and I like missing him, however painful it may be.  It makes me feel close to him. At this point I suppose it's hard to tell if the pain won't let go of me or if I won't let go of the pain.

These posts I write about my dad are always the toughest ones for me to write.  I know they are tough for my family, especially my mom, to read.  But I write them for a few reasons.  One is purely selfish- it helps me to understand and sort through my feelings of sorrow and mourning.  It helps me through the grieving process. Sheesh- the grieving process- who would have thought it would last for four years? (Will it extend four more? And four more after that?  Does the grieving process ever end?)

The second reason I write these posts is because I have received a handful of emails from readers who have lost someone close to them and who thank me for posting what I do about my dad.  They relate and they thank me for writing something that conveys what they are feeling.  I have heard losing a family member compared to joining an exclusive "club" of people who have lost loved ones.  Given, it's a terrible club that no one wants to be in. Most people don't even know it exists until they are in it and then they immediately want out.  Once you are in, though, the other "I have lost someone I loved very very much" club members are some of the sweetest, most sensitive and caring people out there.  They listen to your grief.  They cry with you.  They never tell you they are running short on time.  They share their own grief in hopes that you will feel you're not alone.  It's the worst club you could ever recruited into comprised of the best club members imaginable.  How's that for paradox?

So I suppose the second reason I write is for those guys.  My fellow club members and future club members...  with a hope that somehow we all heal together and hurt less and love more and miss less.

Hoping that we let go of the pain.

29 comments:

  1. I love this post and all your posts about your dad. I can completely relate to them. This one had me crying at my desk. I also love dreaming with somebody, it is as if they are right there with you!

    Thank you for these posts!

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  2. I am one of those readers who loves these posts as my dad died 8 months ago. Thanks for sharing, this came on the perfect day.

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  3. You are incredibly brave for sharing such deep meanderings of your soul... And what a beautiful thing to witness how you can be so in tune with the pain yet so strong in communicating it to others. Even though I can't personally identify with this type of pain, this post brought me to tears. So tonight I'm empathizing with you through prayer for this upcoming season. Keep writing, what a gift you've been given!

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  4. I read this post with a lump in my throat and tears streaming down my face. September marked two years since my Grandmother's death, and her 70th birthday would have been yesterday, so this time of year has been hard for me as well. Some days I don't even think about the fact that she is no longer here with us, but other days the grief feels like a sucker punch.

    When I think that she never got to meet the man I will be marrying, or that my children will never know her, I can feel my heart break into a thousand little pieces. You're definitely right about this being a club that no one wants to be in, but it is nice knowing that there are people out there to support us in our grief.

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  5. Big Hugs. Sniff!
    I've lost love ones and even after nearly 20 years there are sudden moments.

    I'm lucky enough to still have my Dad although he lives far enough away that we don't see him too often and I miss him terribly and painfully. Don't even want to think how much worse that pain will be when I can't pick up the phone or look forward till our next visit.


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  6. Sitting in my office, tears streaming down my face. I lost my mum eight years ago, my godmother six months later and my grandmother just a month ago. It doesn't get any easier. It just gets different. The hole in my heart doesn't get filled in again, but sometimes it just doesn't break as much. *hugs*

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  7. I love this. Bon, I feel like we're both in that club, and as much as it sucks, we should talk about it sometime soon. It will be four years for my mom this December, and I'm drafting a blog post about it right now. You are awesome! Love you!

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  8. February marks 14 years of my mom passing away to leukemia and I can attest that it doesn't get any easier. Especially with the Nov, Dec holidays then her birthday in January and then that day in February. It got really hard with the wedding planning and everything 2 years ago. However I know I have a forever angel and she's been here with me through a lot, even if it wasn't in person. Just remember there's holes in the floor of heaven :)

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  9. Oh Bonnie. Way to start my morning! But it's really sweet hearing you talk so tenderly of him.

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  10. What a sweet and touching tribute to your Dad. Mine has been gone for 11 years, and I miss him so much. Perhaps you did get your last letter from your Dad after all.... but it was a dream letter. I think he wanted you to have it.

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  11. This post is beautiful and heartbreaking. Thank you for writing it and sharing this.

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  12. Beautiful and raw. i love your writing!

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  13. This is exactly how I feel about September. I just wait for it to get the heck out of my life and keep breathing. Sometimes it's the breathing part that's the hardest. But I like knowing I'm not alone. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. This is so beautiful, and so true about grief. I loved reading your writing and your widsom in this post. When my father-in-law died (before we were married, so he wasn't my father-in-law at the time), I remember one of the hardest things for me was (and still is) realizing that any children we may be blessed with won't have their grandpa. It's so hard to imagine bringing children into this world and them never knowing someone who was so instrumental in your own lives. We've lost two pregnancies and I find comfort in my belief that those babies do get to know their grandpa in heaven. And I know that everyone on earth (future babies included, God willing) will know my father-in-law through his children and the part of him that lives on in all of them. I'll be thinking of you and your family as November comes around.

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  15. Bonnie, you have such an amazing way with words. This is poignantly beautiful. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself.

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  16. I feel your pain. I lost my dad 8 years ago and miss him very much.

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  17. Thank. You. xoxo

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  18. Thank you for this post. It's getting close to 10 years for me and sometimes people don't realise that I still grieve. It's not as heart-wrenching but there are still moments that he should be here for. I love the moments where I can remember his voice and his smile. Thoughts are with you for November.

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  19. Beautifully written, Bonnie! Gosh, I cried while reading this! My dad is one of the most (if not THE most) important person to me in this world, and I don't know what I would do without him. I can't even imagine. These things are hard. I lost my mother when I was 5 and still miss her more than 20 years later. In regards to you wondering when the hurt will stop - I don't think it ever will, especially when it comes to losing a parent. You just learn to live with it and be blessed and thankful that there is someone you love looking out for you everyday. Thank you for your honesty and I wish you the very best!

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  20. I really hate that my grandmother is gone, but I do know that she sent me David (my fiance), Zak (my four year old son), Issac (will be born in December), and Voorhees (my most favorite animal in the house that resembles my missed cat Spike, who I accidently ran over - I still feel horrrrible about it). She may be gone, but she has made sure that I'm not ever alone with those four. Its like she's trying to live through them to show me that she's always there.

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  21. A little back story, over the past week I found a dog whom had no tags and I had to call animal control (you're supposed to send them there because this is the place owners usually look first). I'm pretty sure the dog got reunited with his family (I couldn't find him on the website). As I was looking through the website, I started getting so sad about all the dogs who would likely not make it out. It's been bothering me for a whole week. I read you beautiful blog about your dad yesterday. Then last night, I prayed to God "please ease my mind about these dogs. Please help me make sense of this senselessness". Last night I dreamt of one of my dogs who passed over 6 years ago. In my dream I got to cuddle and love the dog. I believe that dreams was God's way of easing my mind about the dogs passing into another life. I would have never associated that had I not read your blog about dreaming "with" people. Just thought you might wanna know how much that comforted me. Some may find it silly that it's about dogs, but it just can't help but love those furry faces.

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  22. Your posts about your dad are so incredibly raw and beautiful. They always make my heart hurt for you. I hope you get more dreams with your dad!

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  23. You described my Augusts....
    I LOVE the idea of dreaming 'with' people...so comforting!
    And you do post "with a hope that somehow we all heal together and hurt less and love more and miss less. Hoping that we let go of the pain" and I deeply appreciate this. I don't know what 'less' or 'letting go' always looks like, but knowing I'm not alone helps. :)
    xoxo

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  24. I lost my Dad in February of this year. I'm finding it weird getting to christmas and not having to buy a present for him. I can relate to the emotions you describe in your posts xxx

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  25. I like the idea of "dreaming with them". Your dream of the letters makes me think of the movie PS. I Love You, which I boohoo'd through the other day. I can't imagine what you are going through, so all I can offer are thoughts and prayers. {{HUGS}}

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  26. Bonnie, remember, someday it will be swallowed up: Rev21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

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  27. I'm going through the process of losing someone for the second time. This is my first time reading your blog and this post has touched me deeply - thank you.

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  28. This post got me good. I lost my Dad on October 5th of this year about a month and a half shy of my 25th birthday. I had a dream about him two nights ago and it was the first since his death. I woke up not sure what to feel about it since it's a new world to live in without him but I've settled on it being happy and sad all at the same time.
    Like you, for me one of the hardest part is dealing with the fact that my Dad will be just stories to our kids. I was never the girl who grew up planning her wedding day but I always thought that when I had kids, they would know their grandpa as a person and not just as a memory. Part of me hates that my husband and I have waited to have kids just for this reason. It kills me everytime I think about it.

    I know this is my first post on your blog (I just found it through megan's) but this post is something so relateable that I had to say something. Thanks for writing it :)

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  29. I AM BELA i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to DR JOHN who brought back my love that has left me for 6years within 48hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last week will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get this boy back to my life because i love this boy with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was watching my television when i saw a lady giving thanks to DR JOHN and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my love back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my love will surely be back to my arms within 48hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how could somebody that has gone for 6years come back within 48 hours,so then i decided to watch and see,unbelievable within the next 48hours i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my loves voice he was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive him that i should forget all that have happened that he did not know what came over him,he promised not to leave for any reason, that he was really sorry for what he did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted his apology and the next morning he came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive him i told him that everything is okay that i have forgiven him, that was how we started again and now we are married, i promised to say this testimony in radio station, commenting this testimony is still okay but before this month runs out i promise to say this in radio station and i will,sir thank you very much.World please am begging you people to try and thank this man for me,or if you need his help here is his email address: prophetbaz@gmail.com or you can also reach him through his mobile number, +2348108918276 *

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