My father died in the early morning hours of Father’s Day, about a month ago. My husband and I have been keeping my mother company since then. We’re grateful for flexible schedules — an upside of being a writer married to a teacher on summer vacation.
As the days pass, we are finding our way to a new normal. Lots of visits with old friends. Everyday tasks. Mentioning Dad whenever it feels right, which is often. As much sleep as we can manage, and a walk every evening.
Now and then we do something fun. Last week we spent a lovely afternoon and evening on the beach at Lake Michigan, at Holland SP. This week we decided to be even more adventurous and took a 2-night trip “up north” to the Grayling, MI area. We walked a one-mile loop through Hartwick Pines SP, enjoying old growth red pines, white pines, and hemlock. Along the way, a sudden late afternoon rainstorm forced us to seek shelter in a small chapel. Sanctuary! After that the path was a bit steeper than we expected, and we didn’t have an umbrella, but we persevered. And at the end, we laughed and had a good meal.
My mother, as always, is teaching me by example. This is how we manage, day by day. This is how we grieve.