Letting Go, Little by Little

Letting GoIt’s my Dad’s birthday today, the fourth since he died. My Mom is up in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, there to remember Dad in her own, private way. Every year she heads off to one of their favourite places, and each year, she sprinkles a few more of his ashes. In her email today, she described the spot on Chesterman Beach that she walked out to. “It is another of Gordon’s favourite places, and it was time to let go of at least some of the ashes I had held on to.”

This is how we grieve, letting go, little by little.

Letting GoIn the months after my father died, I found it hard to grieve. It was so soon after my marriage had ended, and I was really worried about my boys and how they were coping with two such big losses in such a short period of time. There wasn’t space for me to grieve too.

Or perhaps I just couldn’t. Perhaps those two big losses in my life were just too much for me to face all at once. In any case, as my father’s birthday approached, I lost my voice. Completely. For three entire months. “What is it,” one friend asked, “that you need to voice?” My sadness perhaps.

My voice eventually returned, but every year around this time, I notice that my throat hurts in the same way it did before I lost my voice. It’s only today that it occurred to me that perhaps I still have grief I haven’t let go of, sadness that I still need to voice.

One of Mom’s friends sent a lovely message to my sister and me today: “Sally and Del, you were so lucky to have had such an amazing man as a father, he was truly loved.”

Yes he was. And so were we.

Tonight I’m thinking about my mom, up in Tofino. I’m thinking about my Dad. And I’m letting go, in my own way and in my own time. Little by little, I’m letting my sadness go.

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About Sally

Seeking dark coffee and milk chocolate. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us. Learning to trust in the journey.
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21 Responses to Letting Go, Little by Little

  1. kingmidget says:

    Be grateful you have a father for whom you have such fond memories. And always remember those memories are pretty incredible things to have.
    Consider this a virtual hug for you as well…

  2. Brigitte says:

    Oh, Sally I don’t know what to say other than this post is so beautifully written and heartfelt. As you know, I’m still raw from this because of my recent experience, but your post has given me some hope that the sadness subsides over time. Be gentle and kind to yourself during this time and take good care of yourself. My good thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend. xxoo

    • Thank you, Brigitte. I know that your loss is very recent and I remember how hard those early days could be. It does get easier, but it does take time. A wise friend reminds me that there is no timeline for grieving. It happens for each of us in our own time.

  3. Debra Kristi says:

    Big hugs Sally. I know what it’s like to have some of that grief linger. To have it well up unexpectedly. I hope today finds you doing fine. Your family is/was blessed to have such a beautiful connection.

  4. Marianne says:

    I always find comfort reading these words Sally, and I hope you do too πŸ™‚ Hugs x

    He is Gone

    You can shed tears that he is gone-
    Or you can smile because he has lived.
    You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back-
    Or you can open your eyes and see what he has left.
    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him-
    Or you can be full of the love you shared.
    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live for the past-
    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
    You can remember him only that he is gone-
    Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
    You can cry and close your mind,
    Be empty and turn your back-
    Or you can do what he would want;
    Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

    Author Unknown

  5. Mind and body are amazing things the way they can interact. Take care, and it is nice you’ve been able to write about your thoughts and experiences at this time! πŸ™‚

  6. kp says:

    Hi Sally…To lose a father you were very close to and your marriage at the same time must have been extremely difficult…particularly when you had so many material realities to deal with around the divorce and your kids. I think you are right that we grieve big losses in our lives a little at a time over many years as the reality and loss sinks in. I think it is beautiful that your father was so loving and so well loved. Be well….Kim

    • Hi Kim,
      In the middle of everything, I don’t think I even realized how hard it was. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. It’s only in retrospect that I think, Yeah, that was a really hard time.” Even though I still get teary whenever I think of my Dad, it feels good to remember him and to remember how much love there was between us.

  7. Those are lovely pictures. Yes, it takes a while for the sadness to fade, and it never does entirely, and you wouldn’t want it to, perhaps.

  8. The Hook says:

    Beautiful post, Sally.
    I’m sure your father is smiling down upon you and your family right now.
    You are a beautiful, wise, intelligent soul, young lady. Don’t ever forget it.

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