The Nature of Grief, Part One.

by Lori Dwyer on February 22, 2012 · 17 comments

Grief is such a bitch. I understand it now in a way I just never could in the Before.

Tony’s nan, who he loved dearly and was very close to, passed away while Tony and I were together. He mourned for her deeply and furiously. I look back now and I’m angry with myself, sad for him… I didn’t understand what he was going through at all. I pushed him to get over it, get on with it…

But hindsight is twenty–twenty, as they say. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Didn’t.

My daughter, my Bump, is two and a half now and she is, for the first time, starting to realize that there is something missing here, that her family is not the ’typical’ one they describe in books, TV shows, and life in general. I’m amazed how often character families are nuclear– I had really never noticed that Before, had you asked me if there was a need for more single parent families on TV I would have said of course, there is plenty of diversity there already.

The Bump having her ‘pretty hair’ cut.

Things look different from the inside, always, always.

Bump has a dolls house, and is so curious as she plays– the daddy doll is the focus of everything, the game starts only when he enters the pink plastic front door, and the mother and baby freeze in tableaux again when he leaves.

She points to the sky, questioning, her face a small frown, “My daddy up there?”. And what is there to say except yes, baby, he is, but much higher than the clouds, much higher than the sky, and of course, he can’t come back– always remembering to add that on, to not create false hope and fantasy expectations?

My daughter will never know her father, except for what I tell her of him. She’ll never know exactly what his voice sounded like, or how warm and safe it was to lie in his chest, or how the world looked from atop his shoulders.

Grief, it’s a bitch.

And there are all kinds of things to grieve for.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Cath February 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

Yes grief sucks big time and it has a habit of slapping you when least expect it big hugs my love you are doing great xxx


Cath February 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

Yes grief sucks big time and it has a habit of slapping you when least expect it big hugs my love you are doing great xxx


Sara February 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Your wee girl is adorable.

I was fielding one of those minefield conversations while brushing teeth with my 6 y.o. niece and her friend. Between them they have two parental divorces, two re-marriages, one parent that was never married and (let me count.. seven half siblings). One started talking about her baby half-siblings and how she sees them every two weeks, because that's her real dad, then the other pipes up with 'I've got two Dads' then asked me to explain that because she didn't really understand why. From the next room, I could hear my sister shushing the baby so she could hear how I was managing it (she told me later 'good job, Super Aunty).
At least I didn't have a 'Daddy in heaven' to work into the conversation, although I think that would have, at least, been relatively less complicated.

It's been a long time since I dropped by your blog and the change of tone is remarkable. You seem to be getting your groove back, that's awesome.



Trash February 24, 2012 at 12:51 am

Hey Lori, I have often wondered when (if)to offer you the perspective of the bereaved child. I was a bit older than Chop but still young enough that my memories are hazy and mostly coloured by what I have been told.

Yes there is and will be a gap in their lives, this is a given but they will only know the life they have. In an estoric sense they will miss their father's presence but they will not grieve in the way you do. One cannot grieve for what one does not remember. The adult mourns the loss of what might have been, the child lives the life they have. What I do know is that I was loved.

I hope this does not sound crass, it isn't meant to.


Shellye February 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

I think grief is worse than that. It's definitely not easy to overcome by any means. You're handling the Bump's inquiry very well, as to the answer I mean, not to the fact that she's questioning this aspect of her life.

As always, I am praying.

By the way, the Bump is so pretty! Love her blond hair!


Jan February 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

It must be so tough being everything to her and helping her reason through the way her family is. Hugs x


Melissa February 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Oh ouch. Man. It just never ends. If she weren't in such a wonderfully loving and supportive environment, she wouldn't be able to play/work her way through this, or ask you the important questions. You're amazing.


Sapphyre February 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Grief sucks. And yes, there is not enough diversity on television. Where are the families with the daddy who can't work due to his physical & mental health issues and mummy has to work and do everything else? But at least I still have him. {Hugs} You are doing amazing well under the circumstances.


Anonymous February 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm
Do you know of this blog?


whatkatedidnext February 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

It is and there are. Like ripples on a pond.


Miss Pink February 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

I think one of the hardest things would be having to explain it over and over again, the same questions, the same 'I kinda get it, but I don't' look on their faces, the injustice I would feel as I see other children playing with their fathers.

What you are doing is nothing short of brave, and strong. Even if you only do it because you HAVE to, it doesn't lessen what you are doing.


Sharon A. February 22, 2012 at 10:05 am

She's so lucky to have you, Lori, but this is so unfair and it just sucks


WilAma4 February 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

It stinks and then some… the more you write the more I see life around me differently.


Shannon February 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

I can only imagine your pain Lori.Sending love and hope your way.


Sophie February 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

It's a total bitch. :( xx


Grace February 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

Grief is such a bitch, Lori. I have no words but I'm thinking of you and your family. x


Kelloggsville February 22, 2012 at 8:55 am

I can't think of a single tv program where 'the family' fits my type. Particularly the American kids shows. Tracey Beaker in the UK is full of dysfunctional but few have normal single parent families. there are lots of single parent families from death, divorce and never around to begin with missing dads and mums. Infact at primary school children in my daughters class with 2 'original' parents at home were the small minority. Some saw both parents but lived with one,some saw only one, some had lost parents to bereavement and one saw neither. As your children grow up they will meet others in similar circumstances. It must be quite confusing for them right now though. Love to you all xxxx


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