It’s closing in on two years since I lost my dad. His memory dominates my thoughts tonight because I just finished spending a few hours working on cleaning up the basement where he kept nearly everything he had ever owned. It’s a combination of junk pile and museum. I like to think of it as a time machine for traveling back and spending more time with my dad, because his presence is so strong in that place.
Two years flies by quickly.
I was certain that the first year after his passing would be the hardest, and it was so terribly difficult in so many ways. The grief hit me the worst around 6 months after his passing, which coincided with his birthday. I never cry, but I sure did cry a lot that month.
My mother and I had spent so much of our time as caregivers we had ignored taking care of ourselves and we were ragged that first year. I had no idea of how badly in need of a reset I was.
Instinctively, I began avoiding stress. If I had the ability to eliminate something that made me feel bad, it was gone – whether it was a situation or a specific person. I circled my wagons and took care of myself.
I’m still doing that.
Even as my world was shrinking I was gaining perspective.
Cleaning up Dad’s Time Machine has been great therapy for me. It might take a few more years, but I’ll get there eventually.
And you will too.