28 October 2007

The Road to Healing

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This isn't me, it's my sister. My dad and I both loved to be behind the camera. Unfortunately this means that i don't have any pictures of the the two of us together.

Navigating this new world, the one without my dad, is hard. I find myself wanting to call him and ask him some trivial question or something like that. I may even dial the number but then I remember that he's not there.

My family and I drove up to Toronto on Monday. Tuesday was spent visiting my dad's hotel room and gathering his things, going to the police station to get his wallet and going to the funeral home to finalize some details for the service. I couldn't handle all of it and totally bailed on my family to go immerse myself in some wooly goodness at Lettuce Knit. I bought a skein of Hand Maiden Sea Silk and a Go Knit Pouch. I also got to meet Laura who had just returned from Rhinebeck.

Wednesday was my dad's service. It was hard for me to navigate and I was also very worried about Elah because she didn't seem to quite get it. She was excited to be staying in a hotel, excited we were going to ride in a limo, excited to wear her new outfit, etc. I didn't want her to get there and have everything come crashing down at once. The service was hard. It's good to know that my dad was so loved and I got to hear some amazing stories about him but it was also incredibly sad. My brother, Allan, and my dad's long time friend, Allan, both got up to speak separately and they both broke my heart. St├ęphane never spoke but he shared some beautiful stories with me that I will treasure. It's unfortunate but I had seen many of these people since I was a teenager. I'm sorry that it took a tragedy to bring us back together again.

I also have to thank Wendy Grean. She was invaluable in this entire process. Whether it was contacting people in the industry to get the word of my dad's passing or helping arrange the service or coordinating people of providing a shoulder on which to lean, she was amazing. I don't think we would have been able to manage without her.

Finally I'll leave you with my words from my dad's service (at least as well as I can remember them).

I met my dad when I was 7; he and my mom worked on Louisiana together. I had a hard childhood and the one lesson I had learned was that people didn't stay. I did everything I could to make this new person in our life leave but he never did. He was my dad.

These are the things I learned from my dad.
1) People stay
2) It's OK to trust
3) Love really does conquer all
4) You don't need to sacrifice kindness and compassion to get the job done
5) A little sarcasm never hurts

When I called my dad to tell him I was graduating from college and ask him to come to the ceremony, the first thing he said was, "Wow, that's not too bad for a dumb blonde." That was of course followed by proclamations of his pride in me and I could tell, over the phone, that he was tearing up.

This world is a worse place for not having him in it but I am starting a journey on the road to healing. I cry a little less each day and try to remember what advice my dad would have given and live in a way that would have made him proud. I also gain strength from the love of my friends and family. Thank you to everyone for the blog comments, cards, phone calls, and well wishing. I have been totally overwhelmed by the love I've felt.