Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Battleship- The First Anniversary of My Father's Death

One year.  Today marks the first anniversary of my father's death.  I have lived an entire year without seeing his face, hearing his voice, or feeling his hugs.  I have lived an entire year without his encouragement, his tough love, his support.  How?  How is that possible?

That day, June 9, 2014 is forever engrained in my mind, blazoned in my memory like a hot branding iron.  The minutes that ticked by like days, weeks...the sound of my mother's voice as she told me he was gone; the long journey to my parent's house in Lynchburg, Virginia. How can a year have passed already when the first 24 hours felt like a year in itself?  How could I have not died of heartbreak during these 365 days?  Some days it seemed inevitable that I would. The struggle to remember to breathe, the pain so deep in my gut, my heart, my chest, that all I can think about is the empty hole there in my soul and I would forget to breathe.  It would be too painful to breathe.

And yet here I am.  One year later.  They say time heals all wounds, but twelve months into grieving and the pain is still there.  I can't imagine it will ever go away.  Yes, it isn't all I think about every minute of every day like in the early months.  But every day I do think of him and all he has taught me.  I wonder about him...where he is, what he is doing, what he knows, when I will see him again. And it is still painful...that raw feeling of having just lost him.

The other day I was playing the game Battleship with my youngest son and it made me think...yes, Battleship, that is exactly what this past year has felt like.  Not only losing my father, but also fighting Lyme disease, Bartonella, Ehrlichea, and C. Pneumonia.  Battleship...with it's white misses, red hits, and sunken ships.  I've had white misses where the day has gone well, nothing blowing up my life that day; red hits where my heart and body are broken and life seems so very difficult; and sunken ships...days that just seemed better off if they had never happened.

So, as I often do these days, I created a digital art piece to represent this Battleship game I've been playing for the last year.  Hoping I can put more white pegs on the board this year than red.  Hoping there are less sunken ships in the coming months, and hoping I ultimately win this game of Battleship.

Please say a quick prayer for my family today for continued healing during this on-going grieving process. Please include my father in your thoughts and meditations today that he is at peace.  Thank you to all my amazing friends and family who have been there on the sunken ship days and have thrown a life-ring to me as I've drifted aimlessly in the ocean of sadness this past year.  You are not taken for granted or forgotten.

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