GRIEF. We all grieve differently, this I learned. I have been through minimal trials up until that point in my life so I didn't know how I would grieve. I wouldn't consider myself an emotional person, and I wouldn't say this experience made me overly emotional. I, of course, cried a lot. I cried in Nephi's arms, in my bed with my back turned so he wouldn't notice, in the shower, during conversations -- but I wasn't sobbing uncontrollably at any point.
When we got home we went straight back to normal life. I think we got back on a Saturday and I had work on Monday. I am the sole provider in my family right now so there was no choice. There was no time to sit at home and "grieve" in a traditional sense of the word. I can remember going to work that morning and taking the stairs and before opening the door taking a deep breath annnnnnnnd I was on the wrong floor! Ha. But everything was the same? I was new to the office and my boss didn't tell anyone. It was super awkward. She only told people that I had a family death so when a co-worker mentioned something and then I said something about my Dad she gasped because she didn't know it was a parent. Awkward.
It was hard at home because I didn't know how to bring it up and talk about it when I wanted to. I wanted to talk about it all the time, really. Not in a sad way, but talk about him and his memories and how I was feeling during certain situations. I went from being knee-deep in family time and talking about Dad to nothing. It was strange and awkward. Nephi was so so unbelievably supportive, but he couldn't read my mind.
Some days were hard. They were hard because I was going through a lot of "firsts" but also had a little resentment. I couldn't be home with my family and be near my Mom to help. I couldn't just take a day to decompress, I had to keep moving and working (2 jobs), changing diapers, making dinner, church responsibilities and keeping my home in shape. People wouldn't talk about it or bring it up and they made it awkward. I would see people for the first time since it had happened and they would say NOTHING. It was so hard for me. The world kept going. I felt like I was just jogging at a slow pace behind it, with lava chasing me so I had no choice but to keep going. It felt so unfair so many times.
There were a lot of firsts that were hard. His birthday was hard because I realized how young he was (58). My parents anniversary was rough thinking of my Mom without a spouse. Father's Day was hard scrolling through social media seeing everyone worshiping their Dads (it is still hard). I ran into a few work issues and career decisions that totally made me breakdown. He always had the answers and best guidance for me - I still feel very lost without him to counsel on those issues and to this day are my hardest moments.
When good things happen it was hard, too. When I would have a major success at work, I couldn't call him. When I got called to be the president of our women's church group I cried thinking that he wasn't there to tell me that I would be able to handle it. Even when I ran my first half-marathon since having Marlo, tears filled my eyes when I thought of how he would have been so proud - he loved when we challenged ourselves physically. He missed some good vacations too! Like Telluride and Hawaii when we went to honor him.
Now I look back at the first year and I am grateful we had things to come home to. What forced me to keep moving, made me stronger. I felt my Dad so often in the first year. It's been a major blessing to be busy and be needed. I feel it's made me a better Mom, wife, friend, Relief Society President, co-worker, etc.
In January we lost Nephi's Dad and that was so hard. It was interesting to be on the other side, to see how I can comfort my spouse the way he did me. It was hard because it brought back more memories than I anticipated. It was even harder to see my spouse go through the trial, Nephi's Dad was an amazing man. We now both have lost our fathers and Marlo has lost both her Grandpas, and we are only 30 years old. It's crazy to think about that, but we have compassion for each other.
Overall, time has been the most haunting. Some days move so slow and others so fast. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him, but there are days where it's more seldom. One minute I am looking back and thinking of all that has happened since he has passed and think he has missed SO much and then next I am thinking that life will feel so long and boring without him.
I am grateful I got to spend 28 years of my life with him. He was my biggest fan and I couldn't have asked for a better Father.