How long is long enough

I am having a little trouble with grief…
What a way to start a conversation. When I lost my father on Monday, I was devastated, on Tuesday and Wednesday I started to come to grips with my new reality. Thursday was a good day, I really started to process my feelings and try to move past my pain.

THEN WHAM…  it hits me like a ton of bricks.  I am a terrible son, to stop grieving so soon is, well, un-son like.  I am not honoring my father like I should be, I didn’t really love him after all.  I know that sounds silly, and I don’t really believe that but those are some of the feelings that I had today.  Because today I really felt good, I felt emotionally stable – able to put things into perspective.  I began to wonder… How long are you suppose to grieve?  What is proper, long enough for people to know that you cared but not to long to make you look unstable.  Is there a guide line?  A resource out there to look at?  Just so you know I didn’t look for one. I did decide that it is an individual thing.  My two older brothers, who were closer to my father than the rest of us will probably grieve longer that I am.  I haven’t talked to my younger brother in years so I don’t know how he is reacting (not that I haven’t tried to contact him… the ball is in his court)

I will remember my father with kindness and love. Does that mean that everything he did was great? No, if you read the voice from beyond then you know that even my father admits that he made mistakes.  As with all memories we tend to remember the extreme.  I am going to try to remember the mediocre.  The things that made my dad my dad, the little things like his story telling ability, the way he smiled at things, his love/hate relationship with cats.  Those are some of the things I will try to remember.  Did I have issues with my father, of course, most of us do at one time or another.  Does that mean I loved him any less? no it doesn’t.

I will give you all this piece of advice.  Don’t let your pride get in the way of communicating with your parents.  I lost several years with my dad and that is one thing I will regret for a long time.


About Lee Devine

I love life. I am a program facilitator at the Dixie Applied Technology College in St. George Utah. I can't think of anything I want to do more than help people succeed at education.
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One Response to How long is long enough

  1. Sylvia Devine "Your Sister in Law" says:

    Dearest Brother in Law Lee,

    I simply had to write you a note in reply to this question of How long is long enough for Grieving.

    Just using myself in this perspective in my personal feelings towards losing my Dad in 1986, and then my Mom in 2005 I can tell you that I’ll never stop grieving for the rest of my life. I have my good days which now outweigh the bad days, but when I have a bad day all it takes is a certain song, a scent, something I see. Really anything will set me off. My Dad has been gone almost 25 years and I miss him like it was yesterday, and I have to have a good cry which is good for the soul. His death was sudden and unexpected just like Dad Devine’s. My Mom had dementia for a couple of years before she passed away so to me her soul was gone when she couldn’t remember us. Her only daughter, and only grandson Omar. My heart was torn each time I saw what my Dear Mom was becoming, and yet I have come to terms more with her death than Dad’s. Just like you said. It’s a very personal thing for each person, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you will be Happy, and have your Sad times from time to time, but know that you have Your Brothers, and Sister, and Sister’s in Law like me that Love Ya even though we haven’t had the Grace of giving each other a Hug. Love, Sis Sylvia

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