Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. George and my Dad (The Dawnflier, April/May 2017)

St. George and the Dragon
antique Russian Orthodox icon, tempura and gold leaf on wood,
photo (c)2017 by Kim Headlee.

It has been quiet on The Maze since my last posting on 3 March 2017. The reason is quite simple: my dad passed away five days later, and I have been mired in the legalities of probate and the emotional wasteland of grief.

I had planned to upload a springtime floral image to grace the April 2017 issue of The Dawnflier, which under normal circumstances I would have published on the first of the month. But as any adult child who has lost their last surviving parent knows, the business of settling the decedent's affairs is relentless and unforgiving. Struggling with grief makes the administrative chores that much more burdensome. Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself to "just keep swimming." For me, who had spent 13 of my first 18 years on this earth in a competition pool, the advice is particularly apt.

As April 1st came and went, followed by most of its siblings, and still I couldn't bring myself to post on this blog, I thought I might wait until the end of the month and publish an April-May combination newsletter. Then it hit me that posting today would best honor my dad, who in fine Russian tradition celebrated the feast day of his namesake saint, George, even more so than his own birthday.

I cannot wish anyone a "Happy St. George's Day" because there is nothing happy about it for me today. I will, however, lift a glass to my dad. I miss him and love him more than I can possibly ever express.

11 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, Kim. Sending hugs to you. I know there is nothing I can say to make you feel better, as I know what it is like to lose a father. Just know that I feel for you. The painting is gorgeous. I know he loved it. I'm also raising a glass to your dad. XXX

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    1. Thanks so much, Fee. This icon and another one I bought him now hang in my dining room with some other antiques. I'd have photographed it too, but I need to wait till the rain lets up and the lighting improves. :)

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  2. My thoughts are with you at this time. Losing a parent is always difficult.
    Beverley Bateman

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    1. Thank you very much, Beverley, every bit helps. :)

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  3. A father may pass on but his thoughts, hopes and dreams live on in us. The first year is hardest, but it does get better with time. Take care :)

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  4. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Hold onto the moments that made you smile and laugh with him. When you are having those days of feeling overwhelmed--take time out for YOU and remember the smiles again! IT will get easier....there is no real timeline.

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  5. I feel for you. I lost my father on a snowy day in February of 2000 but it seems like yesterday. I too had to deal with all of the legalities since I was the only surviving relative. I had no idea what to do. My supervisor at the time helped. His mother worked for a law firm as a legal secretary and was a great help.

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Brenda. I suspect it will always feel like "yesterday" in some respects. It was only "yesterday" that my husband lost his dad -- January 1, 2013. And "yesterday" when I lost my mom to cancer on 9/11/2001 -- she was a Brooklyn native who died in Seattle not realizing (mercifully) what had happened to her beloved city. The worst of that was being stuck on the East Coast because the national airspace had been shut down for a week. At least in my dad's case (we still had this opposite-coast thing going on), our entire family had just spent a lovely Christmas holiday with him. Lots of memories to treasure. Helping my husband with the administration of his dad's estate trained me for this, but nothing can ever prepare you for having to deal with the business affairs while trudging through the grief. "Just keep swimming" indeed.

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  6. Huge hugs to you girly! From one parentless adult to the other I'm here anytime you'd like to talk or a shoulder to cry on. I lost my father when I was 19 years old and I lost my mom in November so I know the pain. I still can't believe it's been 6 months since she's been gone. The only comfort that I get is knowing she's no longer in pain. What helps me is my writing. Don't ever give up on your writing. When you feel down or you miss your father turn to your writing. Write him a letter, write a journal entry, or just write. The pain will always be there but writing does help. I raise my glass up for both our parents. Hang in there girly *hugs*

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    1. Thank you so much, Maggie, and hugs to you too! :)

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