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Driving by cemeteries hurts.

I’ve always noticed them. I recognize them as sacred places and believe they deserve reverence. Yet, they never really affected me. Or at least no anything like they do now.

It’s not just that I feel cemeteries’ sacred-ness and level of reverence. No, it’s physical. I can physically feel cemeteries now.

The physical reaction I have alone can bring me to tears. I (almost) always hold them back. But the sensation can last upwards of 15 minutes.

vulnerability, invincibility, cemeteries, grief, loss, dad, death, cemetery

Cemeteries mean something else to me now. Something more.

My Dad now lies in one. He lies not far from his very first grandchild. My first nephew.

My nephew’s death was ruled SIDS. And his death took me out for about a month. (But that’s another story.)

My Mom is now purchasing a plot right next to where my Dad’s is. And my Dad’s sister and husband are also purchasing a plot at my Dad’s feet. One of my siblings is now purchasing a plot very near to these 3 plots.

One day, 6 of my family members will be right there, together and close. This is a sinking knowledge, though I don’t mean to be morose.

Writing about this hurts.

Writing about my Dad hurts.

father's day, dad, death, family, grief, loss, cemetery

I can barely see through the tears as I type, but type I am. I’m typing because I have to.

I have to get all this out. To process and feel.

I have to allow myself to work through the pain and all that my Dad’s death represents to me.

Truthfully, I can’t say I thought my Dad was invincible. And yet, I did.

And that’s the thing isn’t it? The thing with death and loved ones, especially parents. My Dad was such a strong man. He always had a physical job and I think he enjoyed using his body to care for his family.

And although he lost some of that strength a couple years ago, he had certainly regained much of it. He still had bouts of seemingly unexplained illness, those bouts aren’t even what killed him. Or at least not directly. And, I think in some ways that’s one thing I struggle with so much.

But back to cemeteries. They hurt me. I have very physical sensations each time we drive by a cemetery now.

They remind me much more deeply that none of us are actually invincible.

If my Dad, a strong, handsome, loving, generous, and kind man isn’t invincible, then neither am I for my guys.

And maybe that hurts me too.

Because if I’m even a slightly decent mom and wife, my guys will probably feel this same deep pain and sadness too, one day. Yet, this isn’t a pain and sadness I want them to feel. I don’t want any of my guys to hurt the way I hurt about my Dad’s death.

It’s said that it’s better to be on good terms when someone dies. And, though I definitely see the value and truth in it. Even a good relationship doesn’t lessen the pain, sadness, and grief as I try to move through life.

I hope to have a great relationship with the boys as they grow up and become men and parents themselves. But, like any Mom, I don’t actually want to see or know they suffer. I’m more than sure my Dad wouldn’t want me to feel this deep pain and sadness. And, yet, all of this is inevitable, is it not?

None of us are invincible. All of us are vulnerable. And grieving my Dad’s death, while driving by cemeteries, highlights both of these facts.

vulnerability, invincibility, cemeteries, grief, loss, dad, death, cemetery

Vulnerability, Invincibility, and Driving by Cemeteries
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12 thoughts on “Vulnerability, Invincibility, and Driving by Cemeteries

  • September 5, 2016 at 9:28 am
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    Wow. I lost my dad 4 years ago, and have actually lost 5 close family members in that many years, and I think that I have avoided some of the pain of cemeteries by not going back to visit. Grief is such a present and real thing. I know that first when my grandparents started to pass away, and then when I loss my dad, I felt their losses, but also that layers separating and protecting me from the pain that comes with life were being torn away too. And you are right, it hurts to think about my son going through that when my husband and I pass away. We are all vulnerable, and it is a good thing to realize. It makes us human.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm
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      I’m sorry to hear about you many losses, Lynne. It’s such a troubling thing that happens in life and there are so many different ways to cope and deal with it. My grandfather on my Dad’s side died some years ago and though it hurt, his death didn’t affect me as much. Then again, he had Alzheimer’s for many years beforehand, so I’d pretty much already lost him as a grandfather. My Dad dying has certainly opened the layers of separation, as you mentioned, and it’s a difficult thing. Sometimes when I go visit his gravesite I feel ok, others just a deep cavern of loss. Each time, I try to bring something to share – a flower, a chirping bird, a frog. And, I share my Dad’s death with my boys, as much as they can understand. Being human is just so complicated, yet simple, and very very complex! 🙂

      Reply
  • September 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm
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    This was so moving, it gave me chills. I’m so sorry for your loss. The pain of losing someone is one of the hardest aspects of being human. Truly a beautiful and relatable post!

    -Rebecca

    Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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      Thank you Rebecca. It really isn’t easy having lost my Dad. I sometimes wonder about everything, but then I remember some good parts and know that it’s all ok. I appreciate you commenting and your thoughts. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 6, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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    Oh my gosh that picture. What a moving piece. I am so sorry for your losses. They hurt. Writing to process is good.

    We have many family members with burial plots purchased very close to one another. I don’t like thinking about it, but in some way it gives comfort to know they are all together. Maybe I am weird to think that way, but it’s one of my coping mechanisms.

    Hugs to you my sweet friend.
    Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #24My Profile

    Reply
    • September 6, 2016 at 6:15 pm
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      I agree with you. There’s some level of comfort knowing some of my family members will be near one another. But, like you, it’s not something I like thinking about.

      Writing even these small snippets really does help, even as it hurts to write. I realize that, for me, not to share would hurt more.

      Thank you for your thoughts Jen, they’re very appreciated. 🙂

      Reply
    • September 7, 2016 at 8:17 am
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      Thank you, Wendy. It is hard, but I know I have to write about it sometimes or the pain gets to be too much and then I’m not only not honoring myself, but also my Dad and his memory, nor my precious little boys. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 7, 2016 at 11:36 am
    Permalink

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You write about it so beautifully. I agree that we all want to protect our kids from the heartache of such a loss. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.
    Leslie recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link Party #24My Profile

    Reply
    • September 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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      Yes, I think sometimes that’s a reality we never want to think about as parents, yet it’s quite true. Thank you for your thoughts, Leslie! And your compliments on my writing. 🙂

      Reply
  • September 21, 2016 at 2:04 am
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    It’s so hard to see your parents, who you once thought were invincible, grow older and eventually pass away. Logically you knew it could happen, but emotionally you never really thought it could.

    Reply
    • September 21, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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      Yes. This exactly. Now that I only have my Mom, it’s hard to stay present and not stress and worry about when she’ll also die. In some ways it even feels like being abandoned :'(

      Reply

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*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*


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