One of the things I hear most frequently about dealing with the loss of a loved one is “getting over it.” People wonder when it will get better, when it will get easier.

While I don’t consider myself an expert on grief, I do have (maybe more than) my fair share of experience, and here’s what I think about getting over losing someone you love: You don’t.

I’m closing in on 11 years without my dad, and I’m still not over it. And I don’t think that’s abnormal. In fact, I think it’s perfectly normal.

You don’t get over losing someone who was important to you. Things don’t get better. Life doesn’t go back to the way it was.

You deal with losing a loved one. Continuously. Forever. I’m still dealing with the fact that my dad is gone and will never meet his grandchildren. I started dealing with it on August 3, 2002, and I’ve continued dealing with it to this very day. In fact, this morning I was dealing with it, while I stared at the ceiling from my bed feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t celebrate Father’s Day with my father.

Last week I was dealing with it when I was mulling new tattoo ideas and I realized I didn’t actually know and couldn’t remember if my dad had any tattoos. Or how he felt about tattoos. Or how he would feel if I got a tattoo in memory of him. And I couldn’t just pick up the phone and ask him.

Things don’t get better after you lose someone you love. Things get different. Life gets different. You go about your days a little differently. Or, perhaps a lot differently, depending on how close and how much day-to-day interaction you had with the person you lost.

And things certainly don’t get easier after a loved one dies, either. I don’t think so, anyway. Today was no easier than yesterday for me, and yesterday was definitely not any easier than two years ago. I think you just become accustomed to the pain. You get used to that hole in your heart, and you work around it. Some days, you work around the hole rather successfully. Other days you fall right in that hole. And sometimes you get stuck in that hole for a long, long time.

And that’s okay. You know why? Because your dad is fucking dead. It’s okay to be sad about it. It’s okay to sit and cry to yourself about it from time to time, especially on Father’s Day or his birthday or the day he died or Christmas or your son’s birthday or when you think about the fact that your son is never going to get to meet this amazing man you called Dad.

Because grief is a process. A never-ending, ongoing, in-your-face-every-fucking-day process. I’ve had people ask me how I handled it. How I got through it. They can’t believe I came out on the other end so well, that I must be so strong and so mature. My answer is always, whether it’s silent and to myself or out loud: I didn’t handle it, I’m still handling it; I’m still going through it, and you definitely wouldn’t think I’m strong or mature if you saw me curled up in a ball on my bathroom floor, gasping for air between sobs.

So if you recently lost someone you love, know this: in 10 or 15 or 20 years when you’re still all fucked up about it: It’s okay. I am too.

DaddysLittleGirl

Writing my heart out

I have the remnants of a callus on my right hand. I couldn’t for the life of me tell you where it came from – I don’t “work with my hands,” as the saying goes, aside from typing. But I like it, I like the callus. It doesn’t hurt except for when I look at it, because it reminds me of my dad.

My dad had the hands of a working man. Callused and hard, the opposite of his heart, which was soft and warm. He was a squishy man, on the inside. So full of life and love. This callus reminds me to strive to be more like him.

I’m supposed to be out of town this weekend. Instead, I’m hiding out in my bed. I told family and friends I didn’t feel well, so I wouldn’t make it to my hometown. It’s the truth – I don’t feel well. But I’m afraid I wasn’t completely honest. And I’m afraid my depression is making a comeback, and I’m afraid I don’t know what to do about it.

I slept most of today and now it’s almost 10:00 pm – when I’m usually in bed, about to fall asleep – and I’m nowhere near sleepy. I still have a lot of that urge to lay here and stare at the ceiling (or the wall, when my back starts to hurt and I need to readjust), but I’m trying to push through.

It’s hard.

I’m pretty good at saying no. Not all the time, and not even a lot of the time, but when I really want to say no? I say no. Not a problem. I can say no to little things and to big things.

It’s saying “yes” that I need to work on. Because saying no comes so naturally sometimes, and the antisocial introvert in me can be so powerful sometimes. If I want to have friends I need to actually spend time outside my house and, well, make friends.

Writing my heart out

I could spend hours (upon hours upon hours) dreaming up ways to organize my house. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s organization. (Just kidding. If there’s one thing I love, we all know it’s shoes.) (JUST KIDDING. I LOVE MY SON.)

Anyway. One of my favorite things to do to waste time on the internet is scour Pinterest for… well, everything really. But there’s a lot of good home decor and organization stuff there! Links to a whole slew of websites like Southern Living and Country Living, and Homesavvy and Apartment Therapy.

What are some of my favorites? I’m so glad you asked!

The best tip to declutter your home? Clean in chunks. One thing at a time!

File under: DUH.

 

Why didn’t I think of that? (Except, then where do I put my trash can?) But seriously, you should see the disaster that’s under my kitchen sink. Actually, on second thought? Scratch that. Nobody should see that shit.

For: The Husband

My husband’s areas – the basement and the garage – are probably the WORST areas in our house. This, and similar ideas, will help tremendously!

THIS IS MY PORN.

Aside from maybe the color, this is perfection. I just. Yes.

I love this. Paint a pallet. Hang said pallet. Voila. (Except, I have no wall space for this. Sad face.)

Perfection.

Absolute perfection. Our linen closet is in definite need of some shelving and baskets, but I’m actually not too far off from something like this. Except the door. We have a curtain. Tomato, tomahto.

So cute.

I would LOVE to have a flat countertop on top of our washer/dryer like this. Maybe then I wouldn’t lose socks behind the machines… Ahem.

So pretty, and so functional! I want our laundry room to be this.

So, apparently I am in love with laundry rooms. I spend a surprising amount of time in our laundry room – that’s where I do all the folding, etc. Dog hair and dust threaten clean clothes everywhere else in the house, so in the laundry room it stays until I can tuck it all away into dressers and closets.

I also LOVE home office and desk organization but that part of our house is nonexistent right now so I don’t even want to talk about it.

Etc.