What people don't say at funerals

I'm reminiscing this week. My dad's birthday is Saturday and I'm missing him a lot this week. For any of you who have lost someone recently, I can tell you that it does get easier with time (like they say), but there will be annoying flair-ups of emotion that will bring you to your knees. For instance, my dad's birthday, he would have been 57.

There are things people say at funerals; "I'm so sorry", "time heals", "your loved one is in a better place", "think about the good times". Some will continuously ask you the age-old question "how are you holding up?" and some are even bold enough to say, " I know what you are going through", because they sincerely think that they do. First of all, every loss is different. Regardless how similar the situation may be, no one can feel another persons pain, or take it away, for that matter.

What the well-meaning guests don't tell you at a funeral, because either they don't know, or they think it is inappropriate at the time,  is that to get over a loss is one of the hardest fights you will ever fight, and you will lose. You will never "get over" a loss, you learn to cope, and even that is a battle most days. They don't tell you that you will be angry at yourself for some reason, at some of your family (for one reason or another), and at God. They don't tell you that you will be depressed  for a good amount of time. They don't tell you that you will have dreams of your loved ones, and won't ever want to wake up. They fail to mention the unrelenting need to hear your loved one's voice again, so much that you will watch home videos over and over again. They don't tell you that their scent will eventually leave the clothes you refused to wash. They don't tell you that people are going to say things that set you off. They don't say that for the first few months, ever little thing will remind you of your loved one. They don't say there will be many nights you cry yourself to sleep. They don't make you aware that they will soon put this loss in the back of their mind.

This post was not meant to be depressing (as I know it probably was) it was supposed to be inspirational. It was supposed to convey the message that healing is a process, and part of that process is finding out, and dealing with, all of the things that people don't say at funerals. Some of these things were from my personal experience, everyone is different, but a lot of it is the same. So, as my dad's 57th birthday comes and goes there will be an annoying little flair-up of emotion, but then I will go back to living as he would want me to, and along the way, finding out more things that they didn't tell me at his funeral.

In Memory of Martin Edward Cooper
8/27/54-12/22/06

Comments

  1. Your Dad was one of the coolest Dads I have ever known. All my memories of him include him smiling and laughing while we played at your house. He is to this day the only person who ever got me to drink milk and when I tell others that they don't believe me (I have a strong dislike of it). Your Dad was pretty awesome like that and I see a lot of your Dads greatness in you. I'm not saying this for any cliched make you feel better reason. I just wanted to share my memories of your Dad with you because he was one awesome person and people were lucky to have known him.

    My brother Andrew, sis-in-law Shayla, and I were at the Humane Society today and adopted a Shepard mixed puppy whose name turned out to be Marty. When I saw that it was your Dad's birthday today I knew that we had to get the little guy. It's the little things in life that make a person laugh the hardest and smile the biggest smiles :)

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  2. Dear Liz,
    I don't know you, but I'm a random passerby. I happened to see what you wrote about and I just wanted to let you know you're not alone in your coping.
    I lost my father this year to suicide. No one tells you how hard its going to be for sure. No one especially tells you that sometimes its hard to deal with reality because it seems unreal.
    I wanted to let you know that you're right, it doesn't get easier, but let you know there is hope.
    Love you as much as a stranger can,

    Chelsy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for reading Chelsy,

    My father passed away almost 5 years ago. You have a tough (and long)road ahead. I don't say that to be negative, the amount you will grow through it all is tremendous. From looking at your blog, you have God on your side as well, which is always a plus =) Good luck to you!

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