Just over seven months ago my dad passed away unexpectedly. In the last several months I have been on a journey and I thought I would share a few of my thoughts and recent experiences of grief and show you a bit of my process as of late.
When were nearing the end of the last school year and my Mother in Love bought both Lord Lucha and I a new pair of running shoes as a graduation present. We went for a run soon after receiving them. Lord Lucha usually gives me about a five minute head start so it is more of a competition for him at the end of the run. The plan was for him to grab the car keys on the way past so he could get in the car to stop his timer on his phone. Not even half way into the run one of my heels was in so much pain I could barely walk so I took at least one of the shortcuts to make the run shorter. When he ran past he forgot to grab the keys. Lord Lucha made it to the car long before me and was motioning hurriedly for me to unlock the car. I was struggling trying to get to the car as fast as I could. So I cut across a field to get to the car and then he found out I only had the key to unlock the car manually with me and could not use the unlock buttons from a distance.
Later that week I was having coffee with a friend and she was asking me how I was doing and I explained the story of us running to her and how it felt true to life in the moment. Lord Lucha seemed to process the grief of my Dad’s death quickly and therefore had the ability to run ahead and make it to the car while I was still in extreme pain barely making it to the car. She told me that the pain in my heel could have been my body showing me that my heart was still in a lot of pain. She proceeded to give me permission to be in pain and to really feel the loss that I had experienced. She gave me permission to slow down and take my time. We discussed how in our western culture we expect people to just move on quickly yet in other cultures and even in biblical times there was space given and time allotted to process well. From that coffee time I felt like the healing process could really begin because I finally recognized how much pain I was experiencing.
There have been a few people who have helped me to process well in this season and other people who have loved me well and given me space. One friend in particular had one of her parents pass away not even a year before my dad. We discussed serval things about grief. One topic that helped me to realize that I was not crazy throughout this whole process was the topic of the typical effects of grief. The three effects of grief that are most common include forgetfulness, clumsiness and exhaustion. The effect that has weighed on me the most is forgetfulness. Names are the things that I have forgotten the most. I would be having conversations with someone and completely forget the name of the person who I wanted to give an example of. I could recall all the details of their lives bar their names.
In the past two weeks I prayed with people I know and love without being able to recall their names to save the life of me. I could remember the name of the sister and housemate of one of the people, but that person’s name was just gone. The night before it happened two weeks ago I dreamt about my dad and he was especially on my mind both of the days in particular that I prayed for the people whose names I could not remember. I realize that I must have been experiencing grief and then recognized that as the reason for the lack of name recollection. Thankfully I am learning to have grace for myself. If I do not remember someone’s name I laugh about it and ask for help. If I cannot remember your name it is nothing personal. I still know you and love you. My mind is just spending a lot of its capacity on processing through grief and I am okay with that. I hope you are, too.
Soon after the story I began this blog with I returned the shoes to the store and traded them in for a different pair. The method of processing I used at first did not work so well because I had yet to acknowledge how much pain I was experiencing and had yet to recognize the loss that had occurred. So I traded that method in to the Lord for a new one. I have grace for myself and there is grace to process well. So I am.
Walking more often than running,
Lady Lucha Xx
PS. I might be due for a new pair of shoes again soon. This pair have put on many a mile.