The Grace Of Grief

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. ~Washington Irving

dinner for Denise 083


For someone who believes in living in the moment, facing reality and not dwelling in the past, I did a poor job of managing my own emotions. I didn’t realize I had slipped behind a veil of denial. I didn’t realize my grief had lodged itself in my chest. It had layered and twisted into an invisible but painful knot. I felt as if I’d been caught in an undertow, the current pushing on my chest and stifling my breath.  I had vowed to stay strong which might have been my undoing. I wouldn’t allow myself to fully feel, and I couldn’t cry. I lived in only what I can explain as a bubble of fear. I’m not quite sure what I feared except the changes in life, in our family unit. As a highly emotional person, I have no idea how I pulled this off. Needless to say, when it hit me months later, I wasn’t just sad but felt the emptiness and a pain so deep it gnawed my soul.

It has been a year today since my father’s death. The emptiness has quietly taken a seat at the table. Though some days it speaks and I listen. There are days sadness wraps around me like a thin shawl and my soul can’t be warmed. Other days, memories warm my heart and a smile spreads across my face. And there are moments I see those wise eyes looking back at me from a photo and I feel tears well in my eyes. Beneath whatever identifiable feelings, gratitude rises. I am thankful to have had a father who loved me and taught me I am equipped to deal in this lifetime. I am grateful, for I know without his influence my life would not be what it is, and I am truly blessed.

I miss him more than words can convey. He was a gifted storyteller who held attention with his personal flair and humor. While he was a talker, he reserved within undeniable power and wisdom. To those who loved him, he was larger than life; and through us, he lives on.

Love doesn't hide. It stays and fights. It goes the distance, that's why love is so strong. So it can carry you all the way home.”

Love doesn’t hide. It stays and fights. It goes the distance, that’s why love is so strong. So it can carry you all the way home.”

36 thoughts on “The Grace Of Grief

  1. What a lovely memorial, Suzicate. Lovely. It always seems that the people who were with us on day one should never go away, that they are bigger than life and should be by some grace bigger than death. I am sorry for you lose but happy to know you had the gift of a good dad and have the treasure of good memories.

  2. Oh Suzicate, I can’t believe a year has passed already. I can so identify with your eloquent description of grief and the process of slowly coming to terms with loss. Big hugs, my friend xxx

  3. Suzi, you have so beautifully and eloquently put into words what I too experienced with my own father. It was many years later that his passing really hit me, and when it did, I cried for weeks. And it was during that time I felt his spirit so closely by, supporting and loving me through my grief.

    Sharing much love with you today, my friend.

    ((((((((( You )))))))))


  4. It’s wonderful to remember our loved ones ~ whether with tears or smiles. I know I would have enjoyed meeting your dad. Maybe my dad and your dad are off swapping stories together? Over a glass of spirits!

  5. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I know how you feel . . . it did take me years for my tears to turn to smile when I thought of my Dad – he’s been gone 16 years this month – I just wish he could have known his grandchildren better – my daughter is the oldest and was only six when he passed, but since we lived with my parents for the first five years of her life, she still has fond memories of Poppy. 😀

    • How wonderful Hannah still remembers him. One of my grandfather’s died when I was five, and I only have a couple of memories of him. I was fortunate to have had my other one until I was in my twenties.

  6. “I did a poor job of managing my own emotions.”
    Never feel this way. You have every right to be grief stricken. We just can’t let it immobilize us and that is all I’ll say with no irritating platitudes. Mother passed 2 years ago 9/17. Sept. 25 would have been my parent’s 69th wedding anniversary. Dad’s 90 – good health, lives with me, my buddy, friend and father.

  7. You’ve written so touchingly… i am deeply moved. You are fortunate to have had such a loving relationship. Grief can take a long time to mellow… be patient with your heart as I’m sure you are. He will never really leave you. xo

  8. This brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes I think we insulate ourselves from feeling the full effect of grief because acknowledging the loss makes us feel so vulnerable and empty, and this can be too much to cope with soon after loss. We can’t avoid grief forever, so to me, it makes sense that you are feeling this now. My thoughts are with you.

  9. This resonates with me, Suzi. Losing a dad (for a daughter) is quite difficult. December will be six years since my own dad’s death, and yes, I miss him still, Miss his wit and wisdom, his encouraging words and his corny jokes. I know I always will. And yes, there are SO MANY things to do when a loved one dies — legal, etc. — that we steel ourselves against our tears, promising ourselves that we’ll “let loose” when it’s all over. Bottling up emotions like that can’t be good for us, physically or spiritually. I’m glad you’re realizing that, and I hope that, in your tears, you’ll find peace and turn to others for comfort. You don’t have to be the strong one all the time, you know!

  10. I’m sorry for your loss – and really, a year is no time at all, is it? I’m often surprised at the emotions that surface, having been lurking below a perceivable surface. Thank you for sharing with us, such poignant memories.

  11. It’s been a number of years since my father’s passing. And I can relate to your grief. The years immediately preceding his death were very difficult as I was not ready to let go of him (he died suddenly of a stroke/heart disease). Even today, an overwhelming sadness comes over me when I stop to remember. Your grief will lessen, but it will never completely disappear….nor do you want it to.

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