Sean’s family is blessed to have made many lifelong friends over the years. Their love and appreciation for each other has probably been most evident in the ways they’ve stood by Sean’s family in the wake of his dad’s death 2 and ½ years ago.
One of the most notable ways is the annual golf tournament they started. A few of his dad’s good friends thought it would be a great way to come together and honor his memory while sharing in one of his favorite pastimes. So for the last 2 years, Sean, his mom, his brothers and I have worked closely with a few of his family’s closest friends to plan this fun event.
And yesterday was the day!
Just like last year, we had beautiful weather. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and despite the scorching sun, no one could complain. It was the perfect weather to be gathered on a golf course, surrounded by people who shared one very special thing in common—a love for Sean’s dad and his entire family.
At the end of the event, as we handed out prizes and thanked everyone for coming, they even threw in a “shout out” to our upcoming nuptials, certainly causing Sean and I to blush a bit. His mom had a great point, though. Standing in front of a crowd of people with all eyes on us was good practice for the big day, given that Sean and I are both not-so-good at being the center of attention.
We’re all quite a bit sun-kissed today, some of us more than others, but it was all worth it.
By the end of the night, I was exhausted—and I didn’t even golf! It was the kind of exhaustion that comes with all kind of emotions, so it was no surprise that I came home and collapsed on the couch, fighting back tears. I know I wasn’t the only one, but for some reason this year felt a little more emotional, a little more bittersweet. Of course we’re so thrilled and excited to be sharing this day with everyone, but it’s always a reminder of the still-fresh grief in our hearts. We miss him. Plain and simple.
I had the day off today so Sean came into the bedroom to wake me up and say goodbye before he left for work. As I woke up, I immediately remembered a dream I had, where Sean’s dad walked into the room full of people at the golf tournament. Everyone looked around in shock as he explained that he had been “lost” and now found. It was so hard to wake up and know it wasn’t true. So as soon as I remembered it and recalled the dream to Sean, I was overcome with tears, a steady stream of big, silent tears.
It sounds silly, but when bad things happen in life (whether big or small) my very first instinct is denial. To think, “wait, something will change and it won’t be final.” For (a simple) example, when a favorite team loses a big game in overtime, I immediately think about how the winning score can be called back or changed.
I wish a lot of things in life could be that way. They say denial is a part of grief, and I guess this shows it's kind of true. I want to deny that something awful is happening, and be hopeful that something, anything—even a miracle—can happen and make it all better.
So last night’s dream fit right in with my thoughts. But waking up to reality makes me sad, because there are some things in life that no miracle can fix. So instead you let yourself be sad. You learn to get through it. And you rely on your dreams for the glimpses into the impossible.