Grief in the Season of Joy, Part III.

There are photos, before he died. It was 7PM on the east coast, 4PM on the west coast. We had just arrived to Portland, ME. It was sunset.

We were happily on an outlook gazing over the city. It was beautiful. Also there was dog poop, the scent was wafting in. Couples were sitting at this outlook, enjoying the view. People were taking photos. We were taking photos, I was hysterically laughing at this incredible serene, instagrammable moment made real by stanky dog poop.


Since my dad died I have had many more incredibly serene, instagrammable moments. In those picture perfect moments what is still there the metaphorical undercurrent of realness by stanky grief and pain.

I was in Maine when my dad died. We were on a vacation after the wedding of a very dear friend. I was already raw with emotion from seeing someone I loved open his heart in a huge celebration of love.

At around 12AM my mom called and I couldn’t hear the alarm in her tone. She sounded fine. I think she asked how my trip was, trying to delay the words that came next, “dad died.” She said.

I was sitting, but I know that I crumpled, or fell over, or something. But really all I remember was hearing myself yell, “Noooooooooo” It wasn’t a tone I had heard leave my body before.

Sobs overtook me and I had to go throw up a little. They don’t really tell you that, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but I am telling you. That it can happen. You can be an adult who is so sad, crying so hard, that you need to throw up.