Last night I watched the season finale of This is Us. When I saw that Kate was dreaming of her parents renewing their wedding vows on their 40th wedding anniversary I wasn’t sure if I could watch it or not. The similarities between my family really hit home. The year my brother got married my parents would have been married 40 years approximately 2 weeks after. My brother was going to plan a party and it would have been a combined celebration. But like Kate it didn’t happen. Of course I cried at the scene where she goes into the ice cream parlour and they don’t have her Dad’s favourite flavour. He offers her a similar flavour and she tells him no it wouldn’t be the same.
When Kevin is giving the toast at the reception he recounts advice Kate gave him. “Kevin if you don’t grieve Dad’s death, it will be like taking a giant breath in and holding it there for the rest of your life.” Imagine taking a breath in and never letting it out. I’ve seen people do it though. In the 2 support groups that I belonged to in time they became social groups. Eventually I felt like I didn’t fit in because grief is work. My cousin wrote how she stayed up after the Superbowl to ugly cry at the tv. I was watching what they call the aftershow that was posted on the facebook page for the show. The producers talked about how we are taught to keep a stiff upper lip (I’m paraphrasing). How the Pearson family feels deeply, they love deeply. They take that pain that we feel after we lose someone close to us and portray it on tv. I was lucky to have parents who guided me. The other day while I was eating a bowl of mixed fruit I was thinking how my Dad wouldn’t eat it without what he called “joy juice” which was sauce that Mom made to put on top. Yogurt, honey and a little bit of lemon juice. I don’t know why that suddenly popped into my head. Such a little thing but it made me smile.
I know that this is going to be a year filled with reminders. It’s ok because I know I can take a deep breath in and let it out.