This is a difficult post to write. I've been trying to start it for a while, but every time I do, I get overwhelmingly sad and have to stop writing. But I know that in my toolbox, the two best tools I have for coping with stress and heartache are writing and, of course, running. And so, as hard as it sometimes is, I continue to do both.
|La Route Verte (the Green Route), Sherbrooke QC|
|Pic de l'Ours (Bear Peak), Quebec|
|Mt Harvey, BC|
|Like father, like daughter:|
Last fall, independently posing for a picture while holding a maple leaf :)
I think peace will slowly come to me like this, in small pieces of beauty that fill my heart until it is repaired. And I think that as long as I am noticing these things, then I am doing ok.
Two days after he died, I was scheduled to be running the Squamish 50k. I had been excited about the race, and had worked hard to get to that start line after coming back from a systemic injury that was, in a complex way, related to my own brush with cancer 2 years ago. I know that I am one of the "lucky" ones, as far as this disease goes - and I am grateful for that, every day. My dad's reaction when he was diagnosed and in the same day admitted to palliative care was not to rail against the unfairness of it all, but instead to reflect on how great his 78 years on earth have been. Gratitude. I learned it from him. And so, I have decided to run a different 50k - Whistler Alpine Meadows - next weekend. On race day it will have been 5 weeks since he left us, and one month since we buried his ashes. The race is going to be extremely challenging, and extremely beautiful, and I'll probably cry my way through parts of it - but I will run every step of it mindfully, to honour my dad in the best way I know how, which is to be the person he taught me to be. Someone who lives life to the fullest, chases goals, doesn't take the easy road, and enjoys the simple things like spending time immersed in natural beauty.
That's where my dad is now, to me. He is in the way the trees sway in the breeze, the way the rocks glisten when they're wet with rain, the way the water sparkles in the sunlight. He is with me, always, reminding me of where I came from, and where and who I want to be.
"Don't grieve. Everything you lose comes round in another form." - Rumi