Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible Dad’s out there. Happy Father’s Day to the Daddy of my children. You are my best friend, my rock, my sounding board, my inspiration, my love. You show your children everyday how to be kind, patient, devoted, sympathetic, strong, persistent, steadfast, loving, gentle and understanding. I am very lucky to share this journey with you. Happy Father’s Day to my Dad who recently passed away.
One of the best gifts my Father has given me is being there for myself and my husband while we are raising our family. He was very intuitive with his help and we would only ask him to watch one of the children if we had to run to the bathroom or had to change a diaper. We would come downstairs to clean the kitchen and everything would be clean and put away like magic. We would go to finish the laundry and everything would be done. We would go to put the rest of the groceries away that we had to put aside to a later time because of something happening with the children…again it would be all gone. We really appreciated it and that’s why it went without saying that when he got the diagnosis that he was terminally ill with cancer and that he was scared to leave the home we all shared as a family that we intuitively said….”you are not going anywhere unless you decide you want to.” We were able to honour his wishes and give him the gift of peace, love and comfort he deserved. Was it easy? No. Were we worried what the children might think? Of course but they were very upset when he was in the hospital for a week because this was the first time they had ever been without their Grandpa at home. It turns out that a slow transition in front of their eyes of their Grandpa was easier for them to process instead of visiting him in a palliative care centre a few times and then having him disappear forever. My baby girl would sit in a big arm-chair with a pile of books and pretend to read to her Grandpa several times a day. My son would bring his Grandpa drinks, snacks and sit with him. They were all able to have snippets of time and share memories that they would not have had if he had gone elsewhere.
A family member recently told me that “grieving can be all consuming and will be harder at some times than others. Your father was special to you, and no doubt your thoughts of him are not allocated to this day any more than others.” When I lost my mother 18 years ago I was single and working so I had time to open up the pandora’s box of grief and peak at or drown in it. Now I’m not single and I am raising two young children, one with Autism, and I find I have rare moments where I am completely on my own with my thoughts and feelings to completely unguardedly let loose. I was consumed with grief on the day I lost Dad and time has not healed me yet. So, yes today, Father’s Day, is more emotional then tomorrow will be or yesterday was.
So here I am with some rare “Cyn” time and I was going to re visit my feelings about the loss of my Dad after doing palliative care in the house for him until the day he died at home with us all while raising two small children. Do I dare open up my heart and see how it feels and deal with what is churning inside of me? I don’t think I want to do this today.
I do have to share one little poignant thought about how my son Johnny is feeling today. My husband’s parents are having a barbecue at their place for Father’s Day and I have decided not to go and have some rare time to myself. Before the kids left with their Daddy I had Johnny present all the wonderful home-made gifts that he made at school for Father’s Day and pose for pictures. Johnny seemed very distant almost lost in thought during this. It wasn’t until we were getting shoes on that I decided to ask him how he was doing. Are you okay? “Yes” You see don’t seem okay….are you tired? “No Mommy” You are going to go to Grandma and Grandpa”s to have some fun with Daddy, your Uncle and cousin and “Princess”! I get a kiss but wow that’s when it hit me…he’s sad. Are you sad Johnny? “Yes.” Do you miss Grandpa…your Wompa? His eyes started to glisten and he said very softly “yes.” Of course he understood the significance of the day and saw that Grandpa was no longer around for me to do something special for like I always did. I told him I missed him my Daddy a lot too and that’s a good thing to think about him. Grandpa helped look after you all the time as well and he loved you very much. I got a big hug and that seemed to help him a little bit. I learned recently that children de-compartimiize grief and deal with as much as they can developmentally and then “close the box of grief” and then as time passes open and shut their box of grief.
I know Dad, you would have wanted me to have a smile on my face and remember all the happy times we had together as father and daughter and as close friends. I promise I will be okay and I will try and do that. Love Cyn.