Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dinner With…

A guest post by Joan's Dad

Grief is certainly a universal thing that we all experience, but we all do it so, so differently. The September after I graduated high school a friend of mine, John, was killed in a car accident. He was just starting his senior year of high school and was driving with a friend of his, Kurt, who was also killed. I was at the joint viewing and it was an incredibly difficult thing to see as both families were there with such a look of shock. About 6 months after the viewing, I was told that John’s father had built a tall privacy fence around his yard, and that he had John’s truck put in the yard.

I worked in the only convenience store in town at that time and still knew a lot of people that lived near and had known John. The thing that I remember most is having the same conversation about John’s father and the truck over and over. People would comment on how odd or awkward it was. My comment was always the same. I would say that I have no idea how you get through that grief, but if having that truck in the yard gave his father any peace at all with what had happened to his only son, shouldn’t he be allowed to have that. I remember having this same dialogue so frequently and it just struck me how odd it was that people would judge anyone’s handling of grief or the desire to have something that gave them a smell, or sight, anything of their loved one.

For all of us who experience grief, we have to find different personal outlets that help us process it. Since we lost Joan, we've found a few things that give us peace, that might not for others. Having said that, I believe that it is a universal thing that you want to hear your child's (or any loved one's) name, as it is their only remaining "voice". With that in mind, we had family over for a party recently and when we called in a food order, we put it under the name "Joan". It was our way of including her in our party and had the added bonus of letting us hear her name from others in a completely innocent way. So I invite everyone to try it as well, next time you get take out or are asked by the hostess for a name, tell them John, or Kurt, or Nathaniel, or Michael, or Nora, or Noni, or Sheila. Or Joan.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

A really beautiful idea. Well said.

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