It is fall, 2021. Well, we are currently hitting that sweet spot where September has finally started, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are everywhere, the halloween decor is out, and it is still 100 degrees and humid here in D.C.
The seasons are changing, and it has been almost 2 years since I have sat down to write on my fathers blog. A lot has happened in two sweet years.
Something about the upcoming season moved me to sit down at 11pm on a Wednesday evening after a 9-5 work day in early September to write to the possible void of my father’s old blog that now sits idle. I miss the seasons where it was lively. Where he would call me into his bedroom, exclaiming how “this is the best piece I’ve ever done! You have to read it!”.
The seasons look different now. Fall is my favorite season. I love the fall crisp air, jeans and flannels, burritoing in a good fuzzy blanket with apple cider in hand.. but fall became very different almost 3 years ago. Almost 3 years ago, Fall was filled with doctor appointments, hospice care, and a bedridden Mark who passed away after hanging on for as long as he possibly could.
Last October, fall shifted even more. My mother, Lori, who many readers from early on knew as Mark’s wife for many years, was found on October 1st inside her apartment. Within a 2 year span, Fall, a season I once loved and adored, was changed once again.
Now I sit here on September 1st, with the seasons changing, and it feels different to me. The season I once loved is still there, but it is almost offputting.
It is my season of grief.
If losing Mark, my dad, had originally taught me anything, it was the eb and flow of life. The rollercoaster of grief we ride, and how it changes and evolves with each season.
This fall brings yet a new season again, with the 1 year passing of my mother and thanksgiving brings the 3 year passing of Mark. It is a new season of firsts, a season of new memories to be made without them, and old memories to reminisce on. I’m now 24, about to have my masters degree in clinical social work, entering a brand new season of my life..one that my parents will never witness.
My seasons, of grief and life, are emerging, just as the 4 seasons are. In fact, every season brings these to all of us. We reach a new season, anticpating what it will bring. We have hopes, dreams, and even worries for each.
As we experience the seasons in our life, it is important to remember that they are evolving, growing, and changing, just like we are alongside them.
As I enter this season of grief, I challenge you to observe the seasons you are entering as well.
Embrace the season to come.
-Emily Smith, daughter of Mark
Want to connect? Find me on Instagram: @griefbyemily