Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Birthday to Remember

I had some trouble writing my blog this week. Had a few good ideas, but I couldn’t get anything to work. The flow just wasn’t there.

“What’s the trouble?” I said out loud to my cat. Then I remembered. This Friday, February 27th would have been Dad’s 90th birthday. Yep, there’s the issue. I miss my dad.

As a coach, I’m the first person to tell anyone who’ll listen that grief is individual and doesn’t have a specific “end date.” Everyone grieves in their own way. I help my clients honor their grief and explore healthy ways to move through extreme sadness while they continue with life. I had help with my own grief process, and thought I’d done very well with my dad’s long illness and eventual death in October 2013 at age 88. So why was his birthday getting to me? Think I figured it out.

For the rest of my life, February 27th will be Daddy’s birthday. A time to celebrate the man and remember the many ways he helped make me the woman I am today. Ninety is a milestone birthday, and he and I had actually talked about it nearly ten years ago. We’d planned what we’d do, where we’d go. Now the plan has changed, but I know what I’m going to do.

I’m going to celebrate how Dad shows up in my life now. I’ll appreciate the smiling photos on the wall of happy family trips. I’ll be sure to notice how Dad lives on through my children as I marvel at my daughter’s strategic mind and appreciate my son’s love of nature. I’ll see his eyes in my own reflection in the mirror. I’ll be aware of it all.

I’ll also remember how grateful I am that my parents were close to my kids and were an important part of their childhood. I’ll appreciate the fact that my dad was part of my life until my mid-fifties and that I was learning from him throughout his life, and beyond. And I’ll give myself a break and realize it’s OK for me to miss him. Because I do, every day. Happy 90th birthday, Dad. Love you….