Good Grief

Today Sam and I talked about his grampa.

I can't remember what started that turn in our conversation, we talk about him a lot, but Sammy ended the conversation today by saying "... And I hardly ever cry anymore when I'm thinking about him." I told him that was good, because Grampa wouldn't want him to be sad when we think about him.

It's funny how Sam's mommy can say that to him with a straight face. Because every night when I go to bed, and it's a night when I haven't cried that day, I feel guilty. Which is SO stupid. But the feeling is there.

I don't cry as much as I used to, and that bothers me.

And the thing is, it doesn't hurt less. At all. When I think of Dad it still feels like someone has punched me in the stomach, it takes my breath away. And it is so hard still to accept that this is my life. This is in the story of my life, and there won't be an editor who comes along and says, "Nope, that part is too sad, you need to re-write it with the dad character surviving the cancer." My story has cancer in it, and in my story my dad doesn't make it. And that is still so hard for me to accept, that I often have dreams where they have found some new treatment and Dad comes back to life so we can try to save him again.

So none of those feelings have changed. But I don't cry as much as I used to.

I'm slowly training myself to live with this pain in a way that allows me to get through some days, more and more days, without crying. Which is good. But ho man, it bothers me more than I expected it would.

So today, when I told Sammy that his grampa wouldn't want him to be sad, I felt like a bit of a hypocrite. And tonight, sitting here with the house all quiet and time to think, I'm telling myself what I told Sam, "Dad wouldn't want you to be sad. Dad would want you to be happy when you think of him. He wouldn't want you to feel guilty for not crying." Which is totally making me cry. (And laugh at myself. Dad would laugh at me too. I feel dumb even typing it.)

So what am I trying to say? I guess this post is turning into a little self talk that mostly goes like this:

I need to be okay with my grief, and how I'm dealing with it. And I've never been okay with my emotions or how I deal with them, so these ones, that seem so cuckoo crazy sometimes, are even harder to accept. I don't make sense, even to myself. But maybe I don't have to make sense, which is also a really hard thing for me to accept. I actually JUST said to Glen today, "... And you know how I get (it's not a good scene) when things don't make sense to me!" (This was in regards to the newly renovated McDonald's in Yorkton that I now HATE with a burning passion, but I digress...) It's okay that I don't cry every day, obviously. But I think it's maybe also okay (for now) that it makes me feel bad that I don't cry every day. You know?

I read on this blog today, about a dad talking to his young daughter about her grief over the loss of her little sister to cancer. She was holding in all her tears, and he used the analogy of a Coke can being shaken till it explodes when it's finally opened. And I don't want to explode with grief either. I want to allow it to bubble to the surface when I'm shaken, and not try to trap it inside because it doesn't make sense... So that instead of a messy violent explosion, I only suffer gentler surface disturbances that are allowed to pass away into nothing.

That sounds better to me.


  1. Oh my goodness, the blog you linked to was the saddest thing ever. Horrible.

    I can hear your dad talking when you write about him, and I know he wouldn't want you to stay sad, or to be embarrassed about your emotions either. Love you. Hugs from here.

  2. Oh wow I hear you. I feel so guilty when I don't cry for awhile either.

    But yes - our dad's would not want us to be sad. But I think they would understand too.

    So much to figure out.


    Have you looked more at doing a GriefShare group? :)

  3. They don't have any running in Dorkton. But my mom did it, and LOVED it. Too bad I don't live in Sasktoon.


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