Because mourning is about being alive. That’s something you have to remind yourself of, and maybe you should even take a shot at trying to explain this to your mother. Leaning into your sadness is not REFUSING TO BE HAPPY. Leaning into your sadness, every day, inviting it into your life, getting up and putting on some running shoes and running and walking and running for an hour or two, and crying while you run or walk—that’s reaffirming that you want to keep living. That’s celebrating how much your father meant to you and how he will never disappear from your life, ever. That’s knowing that you will survive this and you’ll carry it with you and it’ll be a big piece of who you are.
Don’t wonder how you will deal with this. You ARE dealing with it. Don’t wonder how you will get over it. You will NEVER get over it. I know that seems heartbreaking and depressing and wrong. Trust me that it’s also gratifying and miraculous and astonishing and endlessly inspiring and important and helpful. Letting this pain in and growing from it will give you strength and resilience that you can pass on to other people in ways you can’t possibly understand now. It’s NOT all about you, not remotely. You are not stuck. You are not wallowing. This is a beautiful, terrible time in your life that you’ll always remember. Don’t turn away from it. Don’t shut it down. Don’t get over it.
This Ask Polly on grief after suddenly losing your father is spot on and obviously very relevant to me and amazing and inspiring and I’m crying at my desk. (I am 100% ok with crying at my desk, FYI.)