My Path Through Grief
Last year, when I visited my parents up north, I witnessed my father in the depths of despair as he suffered with Alzheimer’s, and my Mom struggling with everything. I desperately wanted my Mom to handle what was happening differently...and I had to accept that wasn’t my role. (Image Credit) I specifically asked my Mom what she wanted. She asked me to listen.
Since that time (I was just there last weekend, and while Dad continues on that road, anti-depressants have eased the despair) I have done my best to listen and occasionally offer ideas and support as my Mom asks for it.
Stepping back and respecting her needs is one of the hardest and best things I’ve ever done and will continue to do.
We’re all grieving, as Dad slowly disappears. We see him struggle and hurt with fear, confusion and not knowing those he loves. I know that each of us has someone who supports us and listens. Jim is completely there for me, my sister has someone she leans on and my Mom has me, my sister and her longtime friends. None of us can change what’s happening and yet we can choose to change, to help each other, in the way that works for THAT person.
One of my acronyms these days is WWDD...What Would Dad Do, as I remind myself of my father’s fierce drive and focus, entrepreneurship and his unending belief in me. In fact, my Dad's illness is what finally led to me becoming a coach (I am now in the third week of executive coaching training).
I choose to both feel my grief and to also channel that emotion into my new career path. That is exactly what I, and my Dad, would want me to do.
So, that’s my path through grief…for now.