The Grief Hangover

So, it doesn’t happen every year.  Lately, the years and their events have been ok.  We’ve made it through the holidays and special events relatively unscathed.  I’ve come to expect this life that I lead now to be what it is.  Is it what I had hoped? Not always, but it is ok, really it is. I’m pretty used to being alone.  I’m pretty used to sole parenting.  I’m pretty used to dealing with all the matters that arise on my own. That’s just how my life is.  The one thing that is really getting to me lately is seeing my boys suffer.  I see their broken hearts.  I ache. But they are their hearts though…I can do all that I can to get them help to cope, build their grief tool boxes, and love them, but some days…well some days…they will  just miss their dad and there is nothing I can do to lift that from them.

The last week has been one of those weeks.  We had Dave’s birthday followed by Father’s Day…always a double whammy…but this year was a rough one again.  My little boy is really missing his daddy and I feel so helpless.  Father’s Day found both boys missing Dave this year.  I mean, they miss him every year, but this year they were both feeling it strongly.  It’s hard because I never know what to expect when we begin one of these days.  I know its Father’s Day, but I don’t always know what direction it will hit me from when the blow comes.

Yesterday started out pretty well.  We spent the morning enjoying the zoo.  We rode our bikes there and had fun.  It was good.  My little boy wanted to go to the cemeteries: one for his dad, one for my dad, to leave flowers for each man they have lost.  Still, everything was going ok.  I usually leave these types of visits and such up to the boys.  I don’t suggest.  I let them guide me.  We got flowers.  We went.

At the cemetery, my very stoic eight year old lost it.  He doesn’t talk about it.  He just sobs.  Every ounce of my being wants to fix this for him.  I know I can’t.  I know it is his journey. It still kills me.  My big boy only stepped out of the car for a few minutes.  He didn’t really want to be there, but did it for his brother.  He misses his dad and it’s different than it was when he was younger. There we stood looking at the headstone with Dave’s name and picture on it.  It is still so surreal for me.  There we stood broken again, hurting again, missing Dave.  I don’t want my children to go through this…is that selfish?  I don’t want my boys to grow up without their dad…am I asking too much?  I would suffer the pain of losing Dave over and over again through one thousand lifetimes to save them from this one lifetime without their dad.

We made it through the day.  We enjoyed the zoo and time with my brothers and their families later in the evening.  It was an ok day.  It was an ok day, but today I woke up with the sadness again.  I’m tired.  That sad tired that feels draining with apathy running thickly through it.  It is a grief hangover, so to speak.  No motivation, no hopefulness, just tired and sad.  We survived our ninth Father’s day, but I don’t feel good about it.  I just want to take away their pain, my pain…and sleep.

The thing I know is that I can’t walk the journey of grief for my kids.  I can stand beside them.  I can love them all the way through it, but I can’t do it for them or lift it from them.  They will walk the loss of their dad all their lives.  It will be woven through the men they become.  It will hopefully open their hearts to the greater love that only losing someone so dear can bring.  It is in the pure sweetness of experiencing love and the deep ache of loss that something more special, more precious can be received and given…at least that is my hope.

So, as the sadness weighs me down today, I will let it hold me…thankfully, I know it will pass.  I know that I will return to the unexpected life that I am coming to know so well.  I know that with each day of pain, a day of love will be remembered and perhaps a new one built.

I love my boys.  They are my greatest treasure.  I only have them because I had Dave…even that time cut short, even every ounce of heartbreak I have felt, even every night of loneliness I endure is worth it because I have them.  Even when my heart breaks for them, I will endure.  I will endure it and love them more and walk beside them always…even when I can’t make it better.

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3 thoughts on “The Grief Hangover

  1. 1writeplace says:

    Those boys are so lucky to have you for a mom. My hope is that each day gets better for you all and that setbacks are fewer and farther between.
    Hugs,
    Patti

  2. Amy says:

    Chris
    Your love for Dave and your boys provides healing, and a safe place for your guys to grieve. Our mother’s hearts want to protect, and hurt when our children hurt. Tis good to share.
    helps get rid of the hangover, your titles nail the feelings I have not always named but experience. Thank you!
    blessings and hugs
    ps. someday maybe we can catch up when I come to see Sarah.

    • cmt says:

      I would love that Amy! Thank you so much for your continuing support…I am so, so sorry that we share this journey, but so comforted by your ongoing encouragement and your courage too.

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