This Is How We Grieve

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.

The Big Red Lighthouse at Holland SP

An ideal picnic spot!
Walking through the old growth forest at Hartwick Pines State Park.
Stopping at a chapel on the old growth trail during a sudden rainstorm. Sanctuary! Also, Hills!
Friends for more than 50 years.

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