Six years.

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I’ve been feeling “off” for about a week. As if something were approaching, or something I’d forgotten was supposed to happen.

I couldn’t put my finger on it. But I tried to experience it differently. I wanted to actually feel whatever emotion was being brought up, instead of stuffing it down with work, TV, food, Facebook, etc.

Feelings can be scary, for sure. They don’t seem safe. They never were when I was a child. I can’t tell you how many times I was told, “You’re not a nice girl,” when I would display any emotion other than happiness. I was not allowed to have any of those big feelings. They were too scary for other people. So, I would compartmentalize, not feel, eat, and do anything not to feel. Became the shell of a person I would remain for many years.

Imagine my surprise when I remembered that today is the 6th anniversary of my father’s death. No wonder I’ve been so squirrely. No wonder I’ve been off my game for a while.

And now, a whole host of other feelings come up – guilt (for not being more upset), doubt (has it really been six years?), resignation (yes, really gone, yes, never coming back). I know that there’s some residual anger in there too. Grief is SO complex. You can’t feel one thing without feeling something else too.

I guess it does get a little easier each year. It’s not because I don’t love him anymore, or have forgotten about him. It’s because the grief is not so fresh. It’s still sad. But I’ve been living for six years since – had time to work on it, express it, feel it. And by feeling all of those huge emotions, I’ve gotten through it. Gotten to the other side. Accepted it. That is the natural course of things. We are supposed to feel, to love, so that we can KEEP feeling, and loving. Stopping that is unnatural. We dam up the energy, the vibrations, the spirit and soul of being human.

I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to feel it, heal it. To be human is to feel. Someone once said to me, “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience – we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” And so, bringing the feelings down from just the “neck and above” to seat them viscerally, expands their strength exponentially. These bodies. They are incredibly beautiful with the immediacy and depth of their feelings.

Once I was able to see that feelings couldn’t kill me (although sometimes it FELT like they would), and that the sooner I really felt and dealt, the sooner I got to being better, feeling it became a habit. Almost like doing a fourth step – where you feel so clean afterwards, you don’t want to do anything to mark it up again. I don’t want to dam up the feelings again and hurt myself in the process.

Dad, I love you so much. I miss you terribly. There’s so much I want to share with you. I thank you for everything you gave me. For everything I became because of you, and in spite of you. You were human, and flawed (as we all are), but you were amazing. You are so loved. You are so missed.

 

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