I walked around the mall in a daze. Everywhere around me people were laughing, busy; going about their day. Children were playing and running about. I saw and heard it but felt like they were a world away. What are they laughing about? Why is everyone acting so normal while I’m slowly dying inside.
A woman caught my eye and smiled at me and all I could do was look away. The salespeople in the center aisle accosted me and I couldn’t even give my usual polite decline. I don’t have it in me. I just looked away and kept walking.
I went to the mall to find a dress. Not just any dress but THE dress. The dress I would say goodbye to my Dad forever in. I wanted to go before he died because I didn’t think I could handle it later. I don’t know what made me think I could handle it now.
It seems such a silly thing to worry about a dress in the broad scheme of things. But that is what I do and how I deal. I get caught up in the details and planning. If I sit still; if I stop; if I let myself think, it will all come crashing down around me.
My Dad loved the water. It could be a lake, an ocean or a pond. It didn’t matter. I shared that love with him. To honor and remember him that way I wanted to find something Navy or Nautical because that is my dad. I picture him on a sailboat on Lake Winnipesaukee where we grew up or at our cottage in Maine. That is how I will forever remember him.
So you see it’s not just a dress. It’s THE dress. I didn’t find it that day. I just walked around unable to think, unable to decide. That is how grief is. Some days you are useless and the day passes by in a haze. Some days you are strong and tick the things off the list of what needs to be done. Some days you are emotional and feel the full weight of it all as the grief comes in waves and brings you to your knees. Tears flow freely and never seem to end. Other days are a combination of all of them.
Today is Sunday; a day of rest. Maybe tomorrow I will try again to find the dress.
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