Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Grief and Gratitude

One of the traditions of my family is when we gather around the table at Thanksgiving, every person says what they have been grateful for - usually over the past year.

This year, that tradition is a hard exercise for me to wrap my brain around. Of course I can give homage to all the wonderful blessings that fill my life but its hard to now speak about some of those blessings in the past tense.

Yes, I'm talking about my father. Talking about him in the past tense still feels wrong. The platitudes of grief - "he'll always be with you" - "he's in your heart" - "he's watching over you" - none of these sentiments have meaning to me. Maybe they will - but not yet. I have yet to see him as anything other than the man he was - separate, vivid, uniquely himself. To give him some sort of mystical role or to incorporate him into my own self can't happen when I'm still experiencing him as a real human being.

And because I still feel that way, the loss continues to be profound.

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