Change In Seasons by Kelly Farley
Not sure what it is, but I really dislike the transition from summer to fall. It’s not so much the weather; it’s the change in the weather. The days are getting shorter and cooler and I know that winter is right around the corner. There is this thick blanket of gray clouds that starts to settle in around early November and hangs around until about April. Yeah, there are a few days of sunshine thrown in over the next 6 months, but nowhere near enough for me.
I have always hated the long bitter cold winters of the upper Midwest, but they have become a lot harder for me over the last 6 years. Ever since the loss of my children, I find it much more difficult to ignore. It seems to magnify the reality that they have died. I am not sure why, but every day is a battle this time of year to fight off the dread and sadness that lurks beneath the surface. I refuse to let it get the best of me, so I keep fighting. Early mornings are especially rough. It seems to be at its worst first thing in the morning when I wake up to the reality of the trauma that I have been through and what my life has become. I use to be naïve to what people go through in life. I was blessed to have never felt the blunt impact of trauma until the loss of my first child.
Yes, I am a grieving dad and I will be for the rest of my life, but I refuse to let it define me or destroy me. I am constantly setting and reaching new goals in order to find some sort of hope for the future. I don’t do this to run from the pain of losing a child; I do this so I don’t get stuck in the depths of despair. I spent a lot of time there early in my grief journey, but I refuse to allow myself to go back there. So I continue to challenge myself to live a life that would make my children proud. Much like the change in seasons, I too must find ways to make changes in my life.
I know what despair feels like, but I also know what hope feels like after the despair starts to lift. My promise to all grieving dads out there is that “I will continue to work hard to bring awareness to what dads go through and I will continue to reach out to help you escape the grips of despair and to once again find hope in this life”
Though I now live in New Jersey, I remember growing up in cold winters of Minnesota. I, in fact, loved the snow and prefer that winter to the seasonless dampness here. More, I remember how my son and I loved weather and storms. Together we would go onto the porch to be out, to stand watching rain storms and especially blizards in winter when we could get one. I treasure the feeling of those times, sharing the excitement of those days and evenings. He is missed, so much. Funny how a storm now brings back joy of another time. The cold brings warmth. That completness endures.