life goes on

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost

Summer sort of snuck up on me. I’m still very unsure how time moves so fast and I’m sure I’ll be saying that the rest of my life. We’re halfway through June, all the blossoms in our backyard have turned to green leaves, our roses have all bloomed and been trimmed for the first time this year, and my two spring trips to Utah and Seattle now feel far away.

I’m doing much better than I was six months ago. Life has forced me to keep moving since my dad passed away. Six months. Is it really true we’ll hit that point this week?

Life moves on in good ways and bad. When you lose someone, with each season you’re reminded of the things that person should be here for. In May, my dad should have taken the trailer up to Star Valley where he and my mom would spend weekends golfing. He should be out in the yard helping my mom with sprinkler problems and mowing the grass in their huge yard. He would be playing fetch with Sarge and taking the grandkids out on adventures. Maybe he’d be planning a trip to visit me.

No matter how much you want it to stop sometimes, life never does; it changes and pushes you with it, much to your resistance. It feels like people are beginning to forget because you’re smiling, planning, riding your bike, going to work, and by all outward accounts, you look like you’ve returned to normal. People don’t know what to ask anymore and they’re just happy that you seem happy. Even if they did ask, you’d say you were doing well. That’s the standard answer and you often feel like you are doing well because you’re not always looking closely either.

Sometimes, however, you wonder how summer came without you. It’s true that your body and mind can move along as usual with the seasons, even though your heart is still stuck in some sort of place between winter and spring.

People grieve their whole lives, and that is OK, but the way they grieve changes. If I could keep one thing from those first few weeks of grief it would be the realization that so many things I care and worry about don’t matter. I hoped to never return to any type of drama, gossip, or worry that only brought me down. I wanted to rid myself of anything that seemed toxic, from relationships that were not beneficial, to being upset about the most trivial of things. Unfortunately, I fail at this in some way every day and I’m often easily overwhelmed by silly things. Life moved on and those things came with me.

I recently read a couple of blogs that reminded me to live in each moment more, and that is what I am trying to do. I try to put my phone away each day for some period of time so I’m not mindlessly checking it while doing other things. I’m not reading the news right now so that I can reduce my worry of things I can’t change all over the world. I’m using a planner again to help me stay focused.

No matter what I’m doing, whether it be folding laundry, watching my favorite movie, going for a hike, talking to my husband, or working on an art project, I want to be there in that moment. Life is going to keep moving no matter what, and I want to be present for it. I want to feel everything there is to feel in the good and bad moments, and hopefully create more good memories than bad. Writing in my journal also seems to be a nice relief because when I’m writing about life away from a screen, distractions are fewer and time seems to slow down.

I think the hardest thing about life going on is knowing with every second, every hour, every day and every action, you’re moving farther from the last moment you were with the person you loved and lost. You know some memories will fade and you’ll never get them back.

Perhaps if I’m more in the present, I can create fuller memories. Maybe autumn won’t take me by surprise. Only time will tell.

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