It's been a hard few days. Today marks the one year anniversary of my Dad's death. Unfortunately, it's actually a three day even because there's the day he had his accident, the day we waited to hear about what organs he'd be able to donate and then finally, today, when he was taken off the machines.
I started a more lengthy letter to my Dad on Thursday but it just didn't feel right. Mostly because I didn't know exactly how I felt. One minute I'm ok, the next I'm crying during the warm up to my Friday morning run and sobbing during my cool down. I've spent the last few days trying to be gentle with myself and others.
I've had a few moments of peace and I've had some that are not. The final goodbye is yet to come. On August 3 we will be interring his ashes in a family plot in rural southern Saskatchewan. It is a very small cemetery where all of his family are or will be buried near the farm that he was raised on. We will make our way there through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. On the way home we're going to take a slightly different route and go through South Dakota as well as Iowa.
I don't really know what to expect of this trip, just as I don't always know what to expect from my grieving process. But I do know it is all a sort of pilgrimage for me. Learning to let go of the hurt from a relationship where a father and his daughter could never find a way to hear one another, letting go of the guilt for cutting him out of my life, coming to terms with the fact that I will never have the chance to reconcile with him and that he never met my kids.
I'm learning to forgive myself. It is harder than forgiving him at this point. But I am learning so much. It seems that in some ways I am learning more from my Dad in his death than I did before.