What no one tells you about grief
One year ago I never imagined the whirlwind that I was about to experience. The day I lost my dad I was certain that my entire world would soon come crashing down around me. I'm not sure what I was really expecting to happen but I definitely wasn't expecting what came next.
The week of the funeral was a blur. I remember bits and pieces but ultimately I look back on that time and I don't remember a lot. Maybe its my brains way of coping with the pain and anger I felt so heavily every. single. day.
The week after the funeral things seemed to go back to normal. Well at least for everyone around me. Monday morning came and the sun still came up, the work day proceeded as normal and people went home to their families. People still periodically asked me how I was doing or how things were going. I always had the same dry and generic response that I was doing okay. Deep down inside I wanted to scream or burst into tears and confess that nothing was fine, not even the slightest bit fine.
People talk about the stages you will go through after losing a friend or family member. They are so scientifically wrote out as if you will have a plan to follow after you lose someone. They are wrong. There is no timeline. No chain of events and no solution to magically fix everything. I will never forget the day someone asked me if there was anything they could do or get for me, to which I calmly replied, "My Dad". When I realized what I had finally said out loud I burst into tears. The truth is when you lose someone you love there is nothing anyone can physically do to make it better. People will try and bless their hearts most of them truly want to help you and take your pain away.
Every time I start to feel like I am making some sort of progress dealing with the loss of my dad something pops up and triggers it all over again. I go from sad to angry to numb before anyone around me can even realize that something is wrong. The first time I had to celebrate my birthday without my dad, the first branding season without my dad, the first buck I shot without my dad. People tell me not to worry because he is still with me in spirit, and I truly love you for that, but the truth is he isn't here.
My dad has taught me so much in the first year of him being gone. He has taught me that it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to be a mess and it is perfectly okay to not have a plan for it all. Even after a year without him I still struggle. EVERY. DAMN. DAY. I'm not sure how long it takes to get better, but I do know that it takes a lot longer than a year.
If you know someone that has lost a parent or loved one, even if it wasn't recent, reach out to them. Talk about that person with them. Don't walk on eggshells afraid you are going to invoke some deep hidden anger. They may seem okay on the outside but I promise the grief is still there even when you think that person is past it. The grief never leaves, you just slowly learn to deal with it.
"A gambler that ain't gonna quit,
and with everything I am I'll do the best that I can
just trying to live up to him"