How do I grieve?

A grief narrative by Paul Marlow

How do I, a male, grieve?

As I was watching dad fall apart, stitch by stitch as one week passed by after another. I would put on the bravest face I possibly could.

To my daily social media posts, I would keep these times out of my feed.

To my friends, I would say it sucked, but 'It is what it is' and then something to the regards of I am not the only one dealing with this in the world right now.

To my mom and sister, I would tell them I was doing fine because I was the man of the house now. My dad could not be that pillar any more, so it was up to me to take the reigns.

To my dad, I didn't tell him how I felt throughout the whole time of his decline. Not once did I open up and breakdown in-front of him, telling him that it tore me apart inside these last months as his body broke down right in front of his own eyes.

That last time we ever played catch, I watched him take the slowly tossed baseball off his face. His body had betrayed his brain's command to raise the glove one inch higher. And then the fear that came into his eyes, as realized what this meant for him. I saw that fear, and it changed me as a person.

One of his last little enjoyments on earth was gone. Playing catch with his son as the sun shone down on them, just as we had done since I was 8.

I wish I had the courage to talk to him after that day, about what had happened.

I wish we could have shared that grief.

But he is gone now.

All I can do is keep that day in my memory in honour of him. And one day, share it with my children.

Share the grief that I felt and let my kids see some cracks in their dads' armour, so when the time comes, they can feel more comfortable opening up about their feelings to me.

And open up to the world.

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- Paul Marlow