I feel better. D said he'd watch E this weekend if I wanted to go to the coast by myself. Yes!
It wasn't a "great" trip, but it was exactly what I needed. The coast was stormy, but my room had a fireplace and a little kitchen so I was cozy. I wasn't sure if I was ready to do the goodbye ritual for my father that I have been planning over the last month, but I didn't want to waste the precious opportunity to do it. So I brought necessary supplies with me just in case.
The ritual was done. I say it like that because "I" didn't do it all. The Universe and I were partners in it. There was plenty of meaningful serendipity. I shook from the emotion of it all, and then I was calm. And I have been calmer since.
I was really proud of myself for my part in how the ritual went down. I've studied anthropology, ritual, and healing for most of my life, and I've participated in a lot of group work, but I've never taken part in a ritual like this -- where the closure was so necessary and required so much of me to achieve.
I planned some major pieces of the goodbye ritual before my dad died because they were necessary for real peace. Other parts came together perfectly at the last minute. Then there were the parts that the Universe/Spirit contributed... I was glad that I was open to receive that wonder. I was proud of myself for planning enough of it to understand the goal and my role, and I was proud of myself for giving room to my father and Spirit to surprise me.
Grief, still? Yes, sort of. I'm tired and can't focus very well. I'm not so tender anymore, though. I feel more centered and much more calm.
I know that I have done everything emotionally and spiritually possible to release my father from old wounds and send him off into freedom and light. And I've released myself from the past, too.
So I imagine myself as a tree coming out of dormancy after a raging winter. With enough light and nourishment at my roots, I'll find my energy and purpose again. I'm not worried. It'll just take some time.