Things I’ve Learned Happen When You Lose Someone Close To You

October 17th, 2020

If you’re an obituary person (which is an odd kind of person to be, but no judgement), my mom’s will be in Sunday’s edition of the Star Tribune. You can also read it online here:

I’ve been told by many people that apparently I am the type to write down words, and that I should continue to do that process through this new process. With 48 hours under my belt, I humbly present:

Things I’ve Learned Happen When You Lose Someone Close To You

– Nearly everyone will say the wrong thing, because you realize there isn’t really a right thing to say.

– People who have also lost a loved one will  look at you like you’ve just joined their club, but you will initially resent them because this isn’t a club you ever wanted to join.

– As long as you remember that this is just waves, everything can be okay. When I find myself in a deep dip, I just have to imagine the oncoming crest and I am fine.

– Remembering that this is a wave won’t stop you from sobbing in the frozen section at Wal-Mart.

– Despite how well you’re doing, the absolute dumbest things will make you cry. I can say with complete honesty that, until this week, I hadn’t even realized that song from the Fast & Furious franchise about Paul Walker was a sad one.

– I don’t have any regrets, as far as my relationship with my mom goes. We both always knew how the other felt, and I can’t remember a time in my life when we let anything substantial come between us. In fact, her approach was to love any problem, and she was a genius mathematician.

– You will start to credit your departed loved one for everything good that happens. Example: when a green light stays on just a little longer to let you pass through, you find yourself saying “Thanks, mom” even though that makes no fucking sense.

– Same thing when something annoying happens. Just add “Thanks, mom” with a side of shade and sarcasm.

– Acknowledging the person isn’t physically here while still referring to them like they are is the only way I know how to do this.

– Flexible spirituality begets remarkable solutions. No system of comfort goes unconsidered or ignored.

– Most grab bags, like those found at birthday parties and soirees, are delightful. The grab bag of mourning — with its guilt and anger and sadness and humor and longing — is a terrible substitution but, like the former kind, is better when you share.

– You find out how strong your family is when they’re placed on the ropes. To not see a single member of mine shrink in the face of something unbearable was an extraordinary show of who we are, and that strength will be there when we need it.

– Dogs make everything better, even slightly, which is sometimes all you need.

I love you all and can’t possibly show you how much I appreciate every word, gesture and emoji. I know this is a process, and we’re just starting it. My mom was always bigger than life, so this new chapter is just a literal extension of that. All my love. ❤


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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