Sunday, February 15, 2009

Unexpected Connections: The instant bond of parent loss

Happy Sunday!

I'm home from Myrtle Beach and having a bad-TV-movies and jammies night. I've already watched Must Love Dogs and Failure to Launch. Oh, and did I mention I ate take-out Thai? In some ways, this is the best kind of night.

My trip to Myrtle Beach to help with the marathon
was hard work but also relaxing. Getting 70-degree weather and warm sunshine can do amazing things for the soul. I was also really proud of my friend Jes, who walked the half-marathon, and for Team Prevention's 100+ readers who walked the half- or full-marathon. Big congrats to everyone!

I didn't walk this year (maybe next year!), but I did reach a different kind of milestone. While chatting with a coworker during the trip, she revealed to me that her father passed away six months ago. We shared a really nice moment remembering our parents, talking about their lives and deaths, and appreciating how being together made us feel less alone.

"It really does get easier," I told her, the words sounding wrong as soon as I said them. After all, when everyone told that to me, I didn't believe them. Only later, when I had healed more, did I understand that what they said was true.

I just wish that as someone who went through loss, I had a more sincere-sounding phrase. I guess those cliche sayings are actually the most true, though, and that's why they've been said so many times by so many people.

So tonight I'm wishing good thoughts for my new friend, and to all of you, who are also my new friends. Now back to TV ; )


  1. Hey there girl! I'm not accustomed to the posting/blogging thing, but in the last 6 months, I have found it calming to be able to curl up to the computer, read peoples thoughts and avoid my own active mind.

    The mundane and simple words of "It really does get easier" is true and while I didn't and still don't believe it at times--I have found that my days do get easier.

    Currently, I am at that point where I wonder is the "easier" part because I am forgetting? Is it because I am distracting myself with other things? Am I giving the proper respect to my father by trying to avoid the sadness that overcomes when I think about the happy times? These are the questions that make "easier" a hard descriptor.

    A lady from Hospice advised me that it would feel like "swimming through Jello." I can't tell you how right she has been. Perhaps it is a body's way of allowing us to experience only a little bit at a time...

    Much love to you girl, this is a great blog and it is comforting (in some morbid way) to know that there are good people out there facing similar events and feelings. A BIG THANK YOU.

    Miss you muchos! Hopefully this summer we will be able to gather again.

  2. Hi Amanda,

    I used to be really afraid of forgetting, especially when time passes and people might think you're "over it" so they don't ask as many questions. A therapist once told me that there's no time limit on grief, which really helped me. I think as time passes, it's not forgetting that makes you heal... it's the search and struggle to find some sort of peace.

    Big hugs to you in Baltimore and hoping for more summer fun.


  3. Katie KackenmeisterFebruary 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

    Thanks so much for writing...just by reading these few posts, I can tell you have a story and a perspective on grief that's worth sharing. Know that our conversation was truly meaningful--that instant connection through loss you describe is real.

    I read your blog this morning, and got surprise, but needed to come back and say thanks for welcoming me into this circle. I think I've been lacking a place to talk about stuff as I try to get back to "normal," and move forward in my life without my father.

    I'm struggling with the fear of forgetting, too. Balancing the emotions is tough. I want to put up his picture in the house so I don't forget him, but I still get all worked up just thinking about it, so I do nothing. I trust that it will just take time.

    So thanks again, Marisa, for sharing with me and letting me open up to you. If you need any copy editing done on your book proposal, let me know. My red pencil isn't dull yet :-)