Friday, July 7, 2017

Good Grief

One of the many gifts distance running has given me is the ability to tolerate feeling multiple, seemingly contradictory, emotions simultaneously. Whatever I'm feeling in the moment, be it pain, fatigue, sorrow, discontent, annoyance, impatience, there is also an undercurrent of thankfulness that allows me to feel happiness even in the saddest times and to maintain a lightness even in the darkest moments. So in the aftermath of my dad's death, I have been able to ride the wave of grief on a surfboard of gratitude. I will never see or hug my dad again, but I got to have a funny, loving, amazing dad for 35 years. I didn't get to say goodbye to him, but I got to have decades of shared laughs and adventures. My dad will no longer be physically present in my life, but nature and nurture made me so much like him that my mom has often exasperatedly exclaimed "Why do you have to be just like your father?!" And for that I am eternally grateful. Every tear, every pang of sadness is a reminder of the vast beauty and overwhelming amount of love that I have been fortunate enough to experience. And yeah, it really sucks, this sudden and unwanted initiation into the dead dads club. It sucks so unbelievably much. But a life without loss is a life without love. And that's a far, far sadder fate.

sparklers, campfire

Lyric of the moment: "And wherever you've gone and wherever we might go, it don't seem fair. Today just disappeared. Your light's reflected now, reflected from afar. We were but stones, your light made us stars..." ~Pearl Jam "Light Years"

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