This past week I had to watch a young man I love dearly lay his father to rest. Losing a parent is tough no matter what age the child is, but a young man in his twenties should not be worrying about the things he’s had to endure: let alone plan a funeral. Once again I am faced with that strange emotion: Grief.

I feel like the older I get the sappier I am! There has been a lot of loss these last few years and not just in my family. It is horrible to admit this, but I needed to pick and choose the funerals I went to, there were just so many that I was getting so depressed and worn down and sad all the time. Like a gloomy cloud was following me everywhere I went. I felt like “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My condolences” was robotic and not heartfelt. Not a good feeling.

Back to the topic…

Losing a parent is very debilitating. You’re confused and lost those moments right after you’ve been told, “their gone.” Memories flood through your mind like old reel to reel black and white movies (for this generation, it may be a vhs movie tape on rewind.) You try and remember the last coherent conversation you had with them, did you tell them you loved them when you left or hung up the phone? Was there some task you were supposed to perform for them and didn’t get to it right away because you didn’t have time? Time, not promised… that’s for sure! I started to once again break down grief, understand it more.

I don’t believe there are levels of grief. Death comes in many forms and one persons grief isn’t any higher or lower than another, there is no scale. I do believe grief is measured in how much we LOVE! If we love hard, we are going to grieve hard! That brings me to my title.

I am a mother of three adult children, two daughter’s and a step-son. I never understood how important the roles each parent played until I became one myself. A mom’s role is the sun and moon, she creates, she nurtures and feeds, she makes the house a home, she kisses and fixes the boo-boo’s, she is love and the glue that keeps the family together. But our dads… they are our provider, our protector, he prepares us for the world, he is our first best friend and our first superhero! Most are giant children themselves so mom’s really have their hands full. That is how we become who we are by the way they serve these roles. There are a lot of single parent families where one parent is pulling off dual roles and then there are the ones that step up when the biologicals fail. Still, we grow from what we learn from them.

When I lost my dad, it felt like I couldn’t even breathe. like he was the one that told me how to do that, stupid, I know! Basic functions seemed impossible, Like, how am I going to get up and face the day without him in it! Even though I’m an adult, he still was walking ahead of me clearing the path, making it safe. His voice was the one I needed to hear when I did something dumb or broke something, his laughter made my day. My protector when I was sad or scared- gone. Now who do I call for direction? I think of my young nephew, he is now in front, he is on that path without his compass, he is the man of his family now. That pain, trying to move forward with that grief. I want him to know that it is not all in vain. He got all the good qualities. His dad taught him to be a hard worker, honest and kind. He is fun-loving and full of life, just like his dad. He has an infectious laugh and a smile that lights up a room… and jokes! Again, like his dad. I hope he can see that the reason it hurts so bad is because he loved so much. Holding on is okay and letting go only when he is ready. There isn’t a timeline for grief. I told him I hope he LIVES HAPPY! His dad would want that. He was proud of his son. I am thankful he is close to his mom, as I mentioned before, she is the one that kisses those booboo’s, and she is still nurturing and loving him. I still have my mom and make sure to enjoy all the little moments I can with her, it is hard some days because she and I are a lot alike and we butt heads, drive each other nuts, and annoy one another. lol. I know I won’t have her forever. I just pray my own children think of me with fond memories and can one day write how they feel or felt about me.

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