In the past years my little retrospective on the months that have past was usually done on midnight on New Years Eve. This time thought, I just didn’t want to do it. I wanted to focus forward. I had plans to keep my gaze to the future rather than the past. Or at least just stay in the moment, enjoying the company of my family and celebrating the change of the year.
I had a plan. As so often though, my plan did not really work out.
I simply got overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all that had happened, all the feelings that were inside of me, well under control for week after week after week.
It has not been an easy year. There were many rough patches, many obstacles, many “hills” to climb. In away 2016 seems like a marathon when I look back at it. I will give you a little retrospective, most of it in pictures.
We started the year with my job, working full time for an event while also having to move house. This was probably one of the most exhausting things I’ve done so far, although I still managed to come out of it energized. I blame it to the fact that I simply love what I do and therefor it feeds me more energy than I spend. Then, when everything was done in regards to work and the move we immediately traveled to Switzerland.
What was meant to be a visit of both my parents turned into saying goodbye to my Dad forever. It was nothing I was prepared for even though I knew that it would most likely be the last time I’d see him alive. While I felt January was one of those hamster in a wheel moments and had the impression February would be calmer, the second month of 2016 continued to make me feel like I was running in circles, trying to get it all done, doing what I had to do.
I’m not so sure if it was exhaustion or grief but March seems to be covered in fog when I think back. Not the real fog of course, just that kind of mind fog. We had a couple of nice almost holiday moments on our way back from Switzerland and I have to say there are moments in February that feel like vacation days, like what they initially were supposed to be.
And then somehow it just continued with being a battle against a strong current for the remaining years. Lots of good moments but it felt like swimming against the current although enjoying whats left and right from you most of the time. Not sure if you know what I mean. And while I was swimming against that current I didn’t allow myself to really grieve. I kept myself busy, focused on what had to be done. Having my moments every now and then, thinking of my Dad.
So I guess 2016 simply took over on New Years Eve and demanded to be addressed. I simply got overwhelmed. I was sad, I cried, I thought of my Dad. All of it while not wanting to spoil the night for everyone else. So when everyone went to bed I had my moment. And in doing so I finished writing this chapter of my life for good. The story will be a different one. A story in which my Dad is only present through stories and no longer a person in the story. But that’s okay. It’s how it’s meant to be.
I guess my retrospective this NYE was different because I knew I had to close a door that was still open a year ago. And that this door will remain closed forever now.
Letting go is a lesson we all have to learn. Sometimes the letting go looks so much better in retrospective than the moment you actually had to do it. Even if it was a letting go for good. When you lose a loved one it is different though. It’s different because it’s final. It’s not like a relationship that breaks up, although in a sense it is a break up too. But there will never be a do-over. Never a second chance. Not even to do it better next time.
There are tons of things that I see when looking back at 2016 that I know can be done better. That I know there will be other chances. Things I know were life lessons. But the biggest moment in the past year is one that forever be final. What’s gonegone is gone.
I guess the distance did it’s thing too. And probably still does. It makes it less real until you make it real. While the ones that were always around my Dad back in Switzerland very clearly “live” his absence, my day here has not changed really. He has not been around on a daily base for 10 years now. So you do your daily business and it is still the same until you get reminded of him by something, by someone and realize that he is in fact no longer there. And yet he is. In our stories, in our memories…