My dad died on Valentines Day 2003, a Friday. At the time of his death I worked for a local hospice that employed wonderful grief counselors. They were really terrific to me as I navigated that first year of bereavement. I remember one of them with particular fondness. I’d pull her aside, tell her how I was feeling and ask, “Am I crazy?” While everyone experiences grief uniquely she assured me what I was feeling was “normal.”
Today I’m thinking back to Valentine’s Day 2003. Dad was in the hospital, having had a heart attack the week before. He was doing so well, the physician was going to discharge him that day. I’d gone to the office to get a few things done before leaving to help get him home and settled. My sister called me around 9 a.m. Something had gone wrong and I needed to get to the hospital immediately. My office was two blocks away, so I dropped everything and was in his room within 10 minutes. What I witnessed was difficult to watch. Dad had gone into ventricular tachycardia and it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. The medical personnel wheeled him into another area to work on him, but I knew deep down, he wouldn’t make it.
While I slogged through my grief work years ago, this anniversary is sadder for me than most. I suppose that’s because Valentines Day is happening on a Friday this year. It makes it seem more familiar, more “almost like yesterday.”
I’ve discovered that when I’m in a funk, the best way out of it is to look for others who can use some help and help them. I find it’s more fun when I do this anonymously. I think I can morph this into a really great day. And that’s what I plan to do.