On Monday afternoon, my husband and I decided to surprise our little girl with a bouquet of balloons as an early Valentine’s Day present. It was an impromptu stop after a quick lunch. As we exited onto the road, I noticed the white tent filled with pink and red flowers, candy bouquets, and large balloons. As we drove over to the tent, I told my husband, “She will be so excited to see her balloon surprise after school. Especially because she isn’t expecting it.”
I walked across the parking lot, my steps moved toward the array of Valentine goodies. There were fresh roses in several intricate arrangements. My eyes noticed the baskets and pottery that provided refuge to all of the flowers. And then it hit me. When I least expected it.
Oh my goodness, Dad is not here anymore.
My Dad, in the last twenty years before he passed, started and worked hard toward a business he loved. He provided wholesale baskets and pottery to many florists located in Texas. I remember how much he adored getting a new basket and entering its description in his catalog. Three-tier woven basket, rolled bamboo gallon, or willow fruit bowl were terms that weren’t uncommon words in our conversations with Dad. Perusing the items underneath the white tent reminded me how Valentine’s Day provided the most lucrative business opportunity for my Father. He would often say, “Let’s hope it is a good Valentine’s season.” More often sales for February would start as soon as Christmas was over. Because he operated his business from their home, it was commonplace to see a variety of baskets everywhere. Sometimes my sister and I would ask him if we could take a couple home to decorate our own places. He would readily give them up and say, “No problem. I’ll just get another sample.”
Next month marks the three year anniversary of my father’s passing. In the last six months, I’ve noticed my need to be less vocal about my grief of losing my father. I am not certain if this means I’ve finally processed it. Or that I’ve learned to really cope with the reality of him not being here. Does it mean I’ve made peace with his passing? I am not sure.
What I do know is that even after a lengthy amount of time, the grief can resurge again. And because it is unexpected, the gravity of it pierces you in a different way. Reminding you of what was and what is and how you are able to blend the two together.
Beautifully said. For me, it is the unexpected grief that grabs me and turns me around, leaving me unsure. And though time does seem to shift things around, I don’t think it dulls it’s edge. It’s like a wound that never quite heals, you find the scab pulled off suddenly when you thought it was gone.
Thank you for your words. Your analogy about the scab resonates with me. It places you in the exact position of the uncertainty that you experience when the grief is fresh.
You will always miss your father, but time will make it easier for you to accept it as part of life. Hugs to you today, Rudri.
Thanks so much for your words. Healing, I know comes with time. It is just difficult to go through the process.
This is such a touching post, Rudri. I’m sorry for the grief that rears its head when you least expect, but then, it’s a reminder of how deeply you loved – and still love.
I understand. My father has been gone for more than 20 years, and I am still surprised by the moments that bring him back, and how much I ache that he is no longer here.
Pass on his stories to your daughter. Isn’t it a wonderful way to celebrate his life?
I hope to one day be able to pass along his quirks, personality and stories to my daughter. He passed away when she was three years old and there is so much she didn’t get to learn about him. Your suggestion is the best way to celebrate and cherish the happier memories.
This weekend folllowing what seemed to be a flu, the 44 yr old wife (and mom of two young children) of our son’s law partner died–infection in the blood stream. On this valentine day, the love, flowers and cards from husband and family are esecially dear to me. How I often take for granted the blessings that are here…
Trish: I am so sorry for this very tragic news. My thoughts go to him and his family.
You are right. What we need is often present. We just forget sometimes.
Rudri, I loved reading this honest, beautiful tribute to your feelings and your father. You describe grief so perfectly here. I agree with you–it is an ever-changing, maleable part of life that never quite goes away.
Hugs to you. xoxo
You are such an amazing writer and capture the moment so well with words. It is a gift that I admire in you so keep it up.
The grief of losing a loved one especially a parent never really goes away (i think) . It just takes a backseat as we go on with our lives and resurfaces every now and then with their memories in the least expected moments.
Of late, I have been going through my own roller-coaster of emotions. Like you know my parents are in India and I don’t get to see them very often. The last i saw them both was almost 3 years ago when Arjun was born. I am planning a trip to India this summer just so I can spend each moment of that time with them while they are still healthy. I already know my biggest regret in life is going to be not spending enough time with them and it just so happened that neither they or I could travel in the last few years.
I hope I can alter that in the coming years and make the most of the time I get with them.
Wish the very best to you and yours and hope you can come to peace with your Fathers passing and cherish the memories and fun times you had with him.
So apt that your father and baskets are connected—to me soul-making is a bit like basket weaving or bowl making, a vessel we keep growing in order to be able to hold more spirit. In this way your writing, your heart and your expanding love are as a basket to hold both the emptiness left by your father’s passing and the love that grows within your family and community… sending flowers of love and sympathy, of joy and exuberance to add to your abundant and at the same time still mournful basket.
Stopping by from SITS
I think that the loss of losing someone so close to you will “hit” you at random moments throughout life. My grandmother passed 8 years ago and a few weeks ago I was playing with my daughter and her figurines and I just was flooded with a memory of playing with my toys at my grandmothers house and how she used to create the most amazing games for us kids to play with. I find that as time goes on it’s easier to focus on the happiness of the memories than the pain of the grief.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I hope to someday be able to channel more happy memories than the melancholy of the loss.
I love this post. It resonates with my loss. Little things that spark our memories. There are moments when it comes unexpectedly and we drift right back to a feeling or a memory that we have. Your father will always be a part of you and you will always have his love.
I hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day and I love that you surprised your daughter with the balloons. The best surprises are the unexpected ones.xo
Thanks Ayala. I know you understand. As always, I am comforted by your presence in this space. Thank you friend. xoxo
Grief, memories, all pop up when you least expect them. Your words resonate with anyone who has experienced the loss of someone dear. You put into words what many of us can not. Hugs to you, dear bloggy friend. xo
Accepting your hugs Jane. Thank you for your kind words. xoxo
I am sure those moments of grief grip you when you least expect it.
Sometimes they not only grip, but paralyze.
How lovely that he gave baskets to you and your sister. Those must be lovely keepsakes. My heart aches for your family and your loss – he seems like such a wonderful dad and Tata.
As always, Rudri, you speak so eloquently of your father. Perhaps his spirit has settled into your life in such a way that you don’t have to actively speak of him or seek him out. He’s just there, with you, always.