I sit with my grief in a way that vaguely echoes sitting with Dad.
The last time I saw Dad, he was too weak to do much. I sat with him and watched TV. A couple times we talked, but mostly he dozed while I read or distracted myself with my phone. Even so, I tried to be alert to what he might want or need. That momentary job made me feel substantial. It was how I expressed my love.
Grief, it turns out, is a much needier companion than Dad, and I am so much more tired than I thought I would be. I’m still wearing all black. I want people to see me and already know the answer to the question, “how are you?” I am mourning.
I also did not think I would cry this much. Excepting that evening I broke down and bawled and the small service we had, I have cried a few minutes a day, although some days I have not cried at all. Still, I am surprised by my own displays and even more surprised at the ways grief creeps up when I am immersed in minutiae of the everyday.
But I sit with my grief, thankfully and gratefully, which is something I learned from sitting with Dad. I recognize grief as the marker of the privilege of having something worth missing. And when I can, I let it run rampant until it tires both of us out. I feel less substantial in these moments than I did the first time around, but then I remember the pauses Dad used to gather his thoughts and I am rededicated to waiting this out and just sitting with it.