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When Grief Shows Up

Grief is very complicated. But the most simple thing I’ve learned about grief, is that it gets better after six months. Time heals.

Kristy. 2023 Australia
So precious.
Yet, so fleeting.
We forget to remember.
For many reasons…
But when we do remember-
The tears.
The smiles.

This is my first trip overseas with my boyfriend. I have been abroad a few times – this is his first time and it has been the trip of a lifetime.
I lost my dad to covid a few years ago. I wish I could share this trip with him and tell him about everything we have seen.
I believe he is with me in some form. I feel him when I look into the sea, into the waterfalls, into the rivers.
I know he would – is proud of me.

I feel my father’s spirit in the seagulls’ wings as they reign over the wind and weather. He is no longer trapped in a body once strong that then failed. I feel not grief but freedom and joy at a life lived well and lived on his own terms. It doesn’t matter where in the world I am -home in Australia or on the other side of the world in Isafjordur – the birds hold jis spirit and sing his song.

ágúst 2023

„Hún er farin <3“ fyrstu skilaboðin sem bárust í dag, yndisleg vinkona, garðyrkjukona af guðs náð, býgflugabondi, bakkari, brosmild og alltaf til í allt. Það var ævintýri að þekkja hana. Hún varð sjötug í júní, varði afmælisdeginum á sjúkrahúsi þar sem átti að hressa hana aðeins við. Ég var svo heppin að fá að verja hana aðeins við. Ég var svo heppin að fá að verja 69 ára afmælisdeginum með henni einmitt hér á Ísafirði. Hún dreif mig hingað á opnun á Galleri Úthverfu, við gistum á hóteli, drukkum rauðvín og lentum í óvæntum gleðskap her við Aðalstræti.
Það var ekkert hversdagslegt við hana Pat, eða kannski var hún einmitt búin að finna fegurðina í hversdeginum, kunni að meta þessi augnablik og njóta þeirra. Fagurfræði hversdagsleikans, hana kunni þessi kæra vinkona sem kvaddi í dag .

July 26, 2023
When Greif shows up –
Think about the happiness in between the darkest days. Think about the smiles and the laughter, about glances and words, about silence and sunshine, about what you said and what you wish you said. Think about the way you felt then and still can feel now if you let yourself.
To Irish and Anthony
To John and Sophia
To Doc
To Mark and John
And mostly to Patty-

I’m here in Iceland for filling a Promise I made to myself, that I would see and do as much as I can, Life is too short and very precious.
I lost my mother and sister to Covid within 8 months of each other and it makes you realize that you never know what is around the corner.
Be happy, be kind to others, and make the most of your time.

Today is my brother’s birthday. He’s supposed to be turning 18, turning into a reluctant and not so adult adult. I’m not quite sure how much time has passed since his last birthday. It feels like yesterday and any reminder that it was five years ago feels like a slap in the face. I just don’t understand. None of this is fair. How could this have happened for a reason? Why him? Why them? Why? I’m furious about so much of it – about all of it really. Today though, I’m furious that he doesn’t get to have a birthday party. Would I have missed it? Would he have come to celebrate here? Which of his friends would be there? Who would his new friends be? Would he still like chocolate cake? Would he like parties? Would he drink? Would he dance? What would I give him as a present? I don’t think I really remember turning 18. 16-18 are a bit of a blur. I would really like it if he were not. Peace, safety, love, health, stability. Where was that on his 13th birthday? Having to keep getting older while he never got the chance is the most excruciating pain I have ever felt.

It’s like this unbreakable bubble of grief in my chest that swells into my throat and crushes my heart. But today, today is his birthday. I’m going to see him as a sweaty, stinky teenager who never cleans his room or listens to our parents. I hope he’s sneaking out and having the time of his life with his friends. I think he would be the type to go on drives too. Maybe today would merit and long slow drive on the Parkway, music blasting, ice cream melting. There’s pastel de nuez waiting at home. My dad jokes about setting the kiddie pool up like we used to – my mom teases him about ditching his party guests when he was little to go play with his new toys. We’re going to watch spiderman again after cake – or maybe Indiana Jones, together like we used to. I texted … scandalized last night about spiderverse 3 getting postposed until July 2026. We’re freaking out about being 24 and 21 when it comes out. He would be the age I am right now. I wonder if it’s rude to ask …to use his birthday wish on coming back. Feliz Cumple Emilio! Te quiero con toda mi alma.
Tu Mana

July 17, 2023
I spent 6 days bike camping/ bikepacking in the Iceland Highlands last week. Now I’m in the Westfjords for the first time. The first time I ever came to Iceland was in 2015 with my mom and dad. My mom loved taking photos next to the lupine blooms.

My mom died this January after suffering from depression and taking her own life. She was only 56. It was a shock to the systems to get a call from my dad that day. All he said was “mom is missing” in a panicked voice. I told him to call 911, stay calm and I’d drive back home as fast as I could. I arrived home in the dark with 3 police cars outside my childhood home. The windows inside the house were illuminated like eyes staring out into the night. I already knew what had happened. It was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad – a chinese immigrant – cry. I’ve seen him cry so many times this year.

Have you ever watched the movie “Everything, everywhere, all at once”? If you haven’t please watch the movie and think of my mom & my dad. I’ve always loved this movie because Evelyn & Waymon’s idiosyncrasies remind me so much of my mom & dad. My dad is an absolute sweetheart & believes helping others & kindness is of the utmost importance in this world.

In my fantasies before my Iceland trip this year, I imagined I would have time at camo to sit in solitude, reflect on memories with my mom, laugh & cry. The reality was that it was so tiring riding bikes and navigating & leaving a group of 4 others that I had no internal peace to reflect there’s an irony of it. Still, I find pockets of moments to reminisce, to grieve. Two times I have seen her in my dreams.

I think of all the future milestones I will want my mom there for, knowing she wont be, I know the emotions will flood back every time – if I ever get married, have children, I’d have wanted her to be there on this journey with me. For now I will forge ahead while cherishing everything about my mom that is forever a part of me.
Emily ??

I can’t help but feel grief everywhere I go. It’s funny and cruel, how the only thing you can’t outrun is yourself. I’m still looking for something that hasn’t made itself clear. When did continuing to exist have such a cost?
Ekk, snerta,
I don’t want to feel.
How far do I have to go to be clear? To feel at peace?

He was my boyfriend for 6 months. We started dating after a had a big break up. (After 2 years) and he had a breakup after 2 years too. We didn’t know what we were doing. We were hurt and confused and lonely. We like to spend time to spend time together and that’s what we did. We treated each other right. He helped me heal and I helped him heal. It was amazing but it was not meant to be. We broke up so well too. It feels like a perfect part of my life. Like a bubble. But ot cannot be real. He works on ships and wants to settle in India. I want to travel, be adventurous. It feels perfect though. I miss it sometimes. But that was a different me that was with him. It was perfect for then.

I lost my dog a year ago. When I came home he looked sick, he had gotten a skin infection when we put him in a kennel when my family went on vacation for me. We took him to get his teeth cleaned and the dentist told us to take him to the doctor. The doctor said he had cancer in every vital organ. The nurse said he had a year. He died 4 years later. He collapsed in my living room. I shed no tears. This years I’ve been feeling his absence. The tears are gone but my longing gor him may be stronger than ever.

Borgin er daglegt brauð hjá mér. Tilfinning sem ég upplifi frá því ég vakna – þar til ég sofna. Heldur fyrir mér vöku. Að missa foreldri er erfiðara en ég átti von á. Vonandi er það satt að tíminn lækni öll sár .

My dad is in a coma in Ukraine.
I got the call from the embassy in the midst of my study abroad program in iceland. I’m not supposed to be here while such a cris is going on in my family, but at the same time maybe it’s for the best I distract myself from the realities going on back home.
I never healed from the hurt he has caused me in my past. I feel like I’m now forced to move on to a completely new part of my life.
He always chased so much, he was busy making all the changes he wanted and now hes at a standstill again.
I don’t even know what I’m writing at this point.
All these sentences are too painful to commit to finishing.

When our son died 16 years ago the worst day of my life.
But life goes on & we keep smiling