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Season of Grief - Is this "A Thing"?

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Laura,,

Recently McGrath's closed in Eugene.  My mom would be so sad to see this, we had many lunches or dinners there, going back when my daughter was a baby.  We'd already lost Marie Calendar's, another place we used to go...we went there on my daughter's first birthday.  It seemed a trigger for me as I remembered all of the countless times I took my mom out to eat those places and now they're gone.  A part of our history.  Whether we see them there still...they're a reminder, or not...they're a reminder...something has changed in our lives, the things we used to do with that person we can no longer do with them.  :( 

No, we wouldn't do a thing differently.

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I talked to the rabbi of my synagogue this past Shabbat after Torah study about Yahrtzeit, and asked her if it is only observed the single day the loved one died. She said yes, and that it is observed by the way it falls on the Jewish calendar. Then she asked me what I was thinking of and I told her it really feels like a whole two month cascade of his final two months from his last birthday until his death. She nodded thoughtfully and encouraged me to honor my feelings in remembering and honoring him, commenting that this is still relatively recent. Three years seems like forever and yesterday at the same time...

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It does...and somehow I've reached 13 years and it no longer feels like yesterday but a whole lifetime ago...to the point I wonder if we really had that life.  Sometimes I feel like I made it up, like I'm crazy, like this whole grief thing is gaslighting me.  Very weird to explain. 

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It's a year later and I think it is most definitely a "season of grief". Today is my father's birthday, and three years ago on this date...well exactly two months later he would be dead. We didn't exactly know that, but I was scared. Things seemed to definitely be going downhill. But then again, there had been so many times before when things had gone downhill and then he had improved almost to where he had been before. Down five steps and then back up four steps. Surely it could happen again. But it didn't. He was getting too tired of struggling to keep trying. I kept hoping and urging him to try to...try to do what I don't know. We were at the end and now I am going it alone without his companionship and backup. I so wish I had those ten years to do over. Not that I'd do anything differently. What more could I do? Enjoy the time more? I did enjoy the time I had and I treated it like it could be the end. I honestly can't say I would do anything differently. I just wish he was still here with me. Every day...

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I know, I enjoyed my time with George to the fullest too.  Nothing to do over, just wish we could have had it longer.  When he was on his deathbed (his final heart attack) I cried out, "Hang in there, George!"  He shook his head no.  I cried it out again, again he shook his head no.  That's when they threw me out and locked the door.  The pain was too great, he had to let go.  I understand that.  I wish I could have told him it was okay, but I didn't get to.  It was evolving so fast, I didn't have time to assimilate it and then we were apart.

I'm sure it was hard for you to not have him with you on your birthday.  My dad's birthday is always hard for me, so is George's.  With my mom it's different, she lived to be 92, she had stage 4 dementia and Leukemia, I didn't want to keep her here, it was her time.  I felt different with the others.  I still miss her, a lot, but it was her time.  I felt George went way too young (51) and my dad too (62).  I felt gypped with them.  No time is a good time for them to die.

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