No Easy Day
As all grieving parents know, there are some days in this journey that are more difficult than other days. Today is one of those days for me. November 12th marks 8 years since we lost my beautiful daughter Katie.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about her or her brother Noah. However, these kinds of days are more than just psychological, I also feel them physically. Although I don’t feel the intense pain I use to feel as these days would approach, I still feel them. I have noticed over the last two weeks that I have been feeling agitated. People have been really getting under my skin in ways that force me to lash out.
One of those events was triggered by the Pastor at a church I attend on occasion. I didn’t care much for the tone and judgmental nature of his sermon last weekend, so I sent him a pretty honest email, and I mean honest. To give you an idea, here is a small sample from the email I sent him:
“The respect I had for you was erased yesterday, all of it. The man I thought you were (caring, loving, forgiving, welcoming) was erased while you revealed your true self (elitist, judgmental, ruthless, fake, hypocrite). What I saw yesterday was a man that was all about him and growing the church, not for helping people, but for his own ego.”
Was it harsh? Yes. Did I mean it? Yes. You see, one of the things I have noticed since becoming a grieving dad is the fact that my filters have become a little thinner. What I mean by that is I don’t always blurt out an unfiltered response if someone pisses me off, but sometimes I do.
My point is, the last couple of weeks, I have been pretty honest with others if I feel like I am being attacked or belittled by someone. Some of it is probably fabricated in my own mind. However, I refuse to let others treat me, family, friends and fellow grieving parents with anything other than respect. Since becoming a grieving dad, I also think before I speak to others, careful not to say or do anything that hurts someone else feelings or makes them feel bad in any way. So, when I see others doing these things as a form of manipulating, belittling or bulling others, I will call them out on it.
The death of our children has changed us all in various ways. Some I am proud of and some I am not. But I do try to live my life so my daughter and son would be proud of their dad. A dear friend of ours and a fellow grieving parent sent us an email this morning letting us know she is thinking of us. In her email she added the following quote she recently read in a newsletter:
“Just as parenting a child in your arms takes a lifetime of adapting to a changing relationship, so too does parenting the memory of the child you hold in your heart. This is a journey that lasts a lifetime.”
This is a journey that lasts a lifetime, not always full of pain, but it’s always with you on some level. It’s a path you cannot possibly understand unless you too have walked the path.
If you read this posting today, I ask that you keep sweet Katie in your thoughts or light a candle for her.
I love you my sweet sweet Katie.