Thursday, August 2


Work's picking up, just as I get ready to go back to Squam for the week, our annual family vacation. Although over the years it has turned into much more than just a family vacation. Girlfriends and Boyfriends (now fiancee's) come too, family friends stay next door, visitors constantly in and out.
Last year, quite honestly, it sucked. Dad had just died, we were all raw. It was his most favorite place to come, to go, to be and then we were there without him. He was missing it, we were missing him. There was just missing. We were all still retarded by grief, unable to take in Squam, take in activities we loved on Squam. It was hard, it was good to be there, but hard and again, it kind of sucked.
This year, of course it will be hard, but I think it will be that much better for the year having passed. (It's all about time) We've all grown, we've all processed, A LOT, and I'm ready, excited, looking forward to it.
I've got wedding magazines and books to look at on the deck as I sip strong drinks and feel the rush of alcohol through my blood. I've got urges to run and swim and kayak. I want to feel the lake and sun, take it all in (with SPF 30 of course), without a constant layer of sadness.
Last year I told my Mom, "The first couple of days are going to be horrible, but then we'll let ourselves go a bit and it will be nice to be there." And it was, I was right. This year, I think it will lessen, the first couple of hours will be hard and I'll let myself go a bit more readily.
On the phone last night Mom told me about talking to a colleague about going to Squam, how the summer has been hard, but better, how there are still so many pieces that are missing Dad, that Dad's missing and Squam is a big part of that and there is a big part of her, and me too, that hurts when she thinks about going back there again without him. The colleague passed something on to her, which I'll translate here with my own interpretations.
When you're there, honor him. Do the things he loved to do and while you're doing them, make it more about honoring him and how much he would have loved to do it. Kayak to a place he loved and just meditate on the honoring of his memory, his enjoyment of the place, your enjoyment of being in that place with him.
It instantly resonated with her, and I took it in quite similarly.
Often my grief is selfish, I miss what I've lost in his death. But there are many times when it is also about what he's missing. I wish he were here because he would so enjoy this, I'm sad because he's missing it. That is what Squam is about.
So, this year I am going to honor him. When I feel the grief creep up I will be glad that I can still do the things he loved so much and I'll do them more for him. It doesn't mean pushing it down or willing it away, it means enjoying the moment for him, and remembering the times you were in that place, doing that thing with him. It is the memories that help sustain us in times of sorrow, he was with us for so many summers at Squam and they were wonderful.
So, I'm ready to keep making them wonderful, for Dad and for me.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. You know how happy he would be that you're taking that approach.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. He will be smiling down upon you the whole time.

Anonymous said...

You made me cry -- this is beautiful.

a life uncommon said...

My eyes are all teary... wonderful approach and sweet post.