Dad Would Have Appreciated This

I can’t decide whether to make this a letter to my old man that some of you can read along with or just do my usual bit of throwing mud at the page to see what sticks.

The old man would have appreciated knowing that moments before I gave very brief eulogy I bent over and talked to him inside the casket.

I told him that people were watching and that I was sure some were asking if I was whispering a last “I love you” or something sweet and sentimental.

What I actually said was “I blame you for all of this chaos and we’re even now.”

It was said with a smile and the Big O would have understood exactly what I meant.

He probably would have appreciated that I walked into my house here in Texas and discovered the downstairs toilet had exploded and that the thermostat said 93.

Dad Would Have Appreciated This

I don’t think he and I got to talk about how I was the one who told him that both his little brother and father had died.

They happened many years apart, but I never forgot the feeling nor shirked the responsibility.

I would have liked to had another discussion or two about his Wilner grandson because there was and is stuff to talk about.

We would have dipped, dug and whirled around in circles about some stuff and hit the wall hard on other.

I would have told him about how interesting it is to me the way I trust or don’t trust some people. Would have talked about where the line blurs and why and asked if that was something that he could relate to

Can’t say I am convinced he would have gotten it or not.

In so many ways we are ever so similar but very much our own men.

That is the product of experience and the impact that comes with it.

It is a funny thing for me to think about because my father in some ways was so very conservative and such a planner.

That Virgo need for lists and labels never left him. Every new position or hobby meant he would buy a book or ten and research.

How many times did he tell me to slow down and think about what I was doing. How many times did I ask him to try and keep up.

That gut feeling was/is right so very often and yet as I age I slow down and become far more deliberate in some areas.

I hear the gut saying to ask for help and or trust but the brain/heart refuses to just do it.

“Prove yourself. Show me there is a reason not to worry about getting burned again.”

And the funny thing is sometimes I hear/feel dad telling me to just go for it.

“I don’t worry about you like that. You always figure it out.”

Forty-nine years old and I would pay good money to hear it again.

It Comes In Waves

The advice has come from many.

“We have been there and are telling you grief comes in waves and at weird moments. You might not expect it. It never goes away, but it gets easier to manage.”

I walked off the plane behind a father holding his young son’s hand and something about that hit me.

Don’t know why and don’t really care because I know this isn’t rational. This stuff just comes and my plan is to just ride it out.

Sometimes I’ll get sucker punched and sometimes I’ll see it in advance. Doesn’t really matter because nothing I do will bring him back.

I can only move forward and live in the moments.

But tonight I can feel is going to be hard.

It feels more real and I can hear the echoes of dirt hitting his casket.

I can picture his body after it was done and remember how I held his hand for a short while and let go long before I thought it would become cold.

It was easy to tell myself that his fingers weren’t cooperating with mine because he was asleep. I knew it to be a fiction I had created and didn’t care.

That only had to work for a moment.

Tonight in a big empty house that he spent all of ten days in I hear echoes and comments but the silence drowns them out.

It reminds me of a being about five or at family camp.

He dropped me off at the day care and I tried to climb the gate after him. I screamed at the staff that tried to pull me off of it.

It is possible that I bit or kicked them, I am not really sure. But I remember the anger.

He turned and said he would be back and he came but this time I can’t climb the fence or follow. And if you know me well you know that I have thought about whether it is possible.

‘Cuz I don’t care if it is ridiculous or thought to be stupid. People say lots of things can’t be done and then someone figures out how to do it and the impossible is possible.

Don’t mistake this to mean that I am losing it or going crazy. I know exactly where  my head is at and am just venting.

Sleep Isn’t A Myth

I haven’t had a proper night of sleep since I can’t remember when but I’ll figure it out tonight.

Maybe I’ll sing along with something that reminds me or maybe I’ll just listen to a bunch of different stuff.

One day at a time is how we do it. It is all going to be fine, but it might not always be easy.

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  1. winersusan July 28, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    You and Jessica have been a big help to your Mom. Mom, too, will have moments, but she will get through and be ok with the family’s support from near and far. You said it best: *One day at a time*. Sue

  2. Paula Kiger July 28, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Josh,

    I have been following most of this, as you know.

    I wish I had something profound to say. I was at my annual family reunion today, the first since my mom died (February) — and I was struck at how much other people needed to be assured — of course they did and that was fine but …….

    I have cried very few tears although she was *amazing* in a way that defies words.

    I guess we all grieve differently.

    Hugs and prayers.


    • Joshua Wilner July 29, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Paula,

      Yeah we all grieve differently. I knew it before but am learning it first hand again. It is an interesting experience. I would have liked to have waited for the education but we don’t get those options. 🙂

      I think it is just a matter of figuring out what works best for us as individuals.

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