What Two Years Have Taught Me

This isn’t an easy post to write.

Maybe I shouldn’t have written it at all, but I couldn’t really let this date go by and not take a little time to ponder about it. So I decided to ponder about it here, with you, and hopefully help out anyone else going through something similar.

It’s two years today that my father passed away.

Two years. That’s either a very long time or a short while, I can’t decide. It depends on whether it’s a good or a bad day. One thing I learned was to not make hard days harder. I’m a pro at that, you know? I find it very easy to throw myself the biggest pity party on the block! It’s very easy to get stuck in that negative cycle and think of all the reasons I have to be sad and to not feel loved. But I’ve found that you need to stop that cycle from happening simply by trying to be in a positive mindset daily. Some days, that’s very hard. Stress takes over, anxiety rolls in and everything suddenly seems to be taking the wrong turn. Every little problem becomes a major issue you don’t seem able to fix. But that’s a lie grief and anxiety tell you.

You can always fix things, little by little. Your life is not a final outcome, a finished product you work really hard at for a few years and then get to enjoy the results until you die. It’s a process – more like a never ending adventure. And part of that is that there will always be problems. Now, that’s the hard reality to accept. We don’t know how to properly enjoy something fleeting, that we are aware will pass with time. And we don’t know how to free ourselves of misery to think of those better times ahead.

Maybe we give pain more power than it should have.

I know I have, many times! Sometimes it feels so present, so endless and suffocating, that I can’t think of a day when the pain won’t be so strong anymore. Other times, I worsen my own pain by reminding myself of the bigger pains and forcing myself through them again. As if, by telling myself that I’m suffering because of something bigger (the death of a loved one), rather than something smaller (a silly fight), I have a legitimate reason to be sad. But it’s okay to be upset with small things. Your feelings count regardless of how objectively smaller your problem seems. It’s just that allowing the problem to stay small will help you to get through it faster.

Another thing I’ve learned is to look at happy memories. That isn’t a lesson I could teach anyone, though. It really just took me time and a bit of healing, of life moving on, to be able to do that. Sometimes the painful parts still come up. But the happy ones are starting to take over. I think that, in time, they will be the biggest thing I will remember about my relationship with my father, and that really makes everything better. Because he won’t be there anymore for those important moments. I’m the one who has to make sure to revive him, in memory, and make his love for me a part of that day.

Accepting grief is hard. Letting go of it, after a while, is even harder. I don’t know if I’ve found that balance between allowing myself to feel the pain, but not lingering on it. Just accepting it for what it is and then letting myself move on. It’s a very difficult balance to strike.

But I’m working on it, one small adventure at a time.

Sofia

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