Since the afternoon of Christmas Day 2017, life has been hard.
It has been heartbreaking sadness. It has been frustration and it has been just plain hard.
My Father, My Dad, My Daddy, My friend, My work partner left this earth and met Jesus on December 30th.
The week prior to his departure was probably the hardest week of my life and the weeks to follow have been rough. I don’t know how else to describe it but just rough.
Two memorial services, one at home in Florida and the other in Ohio for our north family and friends. We returned home from Ohio yesterday. Today, we start our new normal. As I reflect back on the last weeks I want to find positives. Even during the worst times of our lives, there has to be things to hold onto that were good or that we can learn from.
When people want to help, LET THEM.
Let them spend time with you. They wouldn’t do it if they didn’t want to. Let them feed you.We have had more food than we knew what to do with. We have frozen food, we have given food away, we have invited others to eat with us. Some people have the gift of cooking and it’s how they show their love. Open the door and let whoever wants to bless you in the front door. Let them serve you. If you are lucky enough to have people in your lives that want to be your arm holders, let them do it. I say all of this because I’ve had to let go. Let go of the guilt of people wanting to help. Accept that I am loved by so many and that one day I will have the opportunity to serve and love them like they have me.
Spend time with people. Don’t wait. Don’t make excuses.
Just do it.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be outside on the porch, swinging as the sun goes down. It can be a last minute “let’s roast hot dogs over the fire for dinner” kind of night. It can be dominoes on a Friday night. It can be a phone call just because you were thinking of them.
Those cousins you rarely see.
The aunts and uncles that live in another state.
They are worth connecting with.
This past April I left my job. It was time for me to be close to home. To spend as much time with Dad as I could. Most days I would wait in my house till around 9 am. Dad would come through the door and he would either be in his Pj’s which meant it wasn’t a great day or he would show up in his work clothes which meant we were going to the garage. Either way was ok because no matter what, I was given the opportunity to be with him. I could have made more money, been able to go on fancy vacations or make a corporate name for myself but instead I was able to etch memories in my mind that will never go away.
Get your affairs in order. NOW.
I am so grateful to have been able to help Mom take care of things. But WOW people, it’s not easy. The paperwork and the calls that have to take place after someone passes away is staggering. My folks were super organized and knew where everything was so really I think my job was probably easier than normal.
Funeral planning? I had no clue
Estate documents? Gets yours and make your loved ones get them now. Please please trust me on this one.
It’s so much easier to think about it now than when you are grieving. Go to your loved ones and do it together. You won’t be sorry
This is the hardest one so far.
How many older people do you spend time with? They are not old, they are just older than you. One day you will be there.
I’ve watched as I have spent hours with Mom taking her here and there. There are older people who have no one. They are at the Dr’s office filling out the 18 pages of information alone and some are so confused. I have wondered how they handle difficult things such as the mountains of paperwork to handle when someone passes away. Some are completely alone and some just feel it. We, me included get busy in our everyday lives and forget.
I’m not sure what all this means for me but I will not forget this experience and I will figure out how to live my life without Dad.
I do know that I want to make a difference. Somehow by learning from my experiences even if that means walking this difficult road with someone else.
Happy Monday friends.
I’m going to go put on my work clothes. #newnormal