Who ever said Humpty Dumpty was an egg? Did you ever think of that?
Maybe I’m the only one, but what ever.
I did some research and no one really knows. Historians argue it’s a reference from the civil war in the 1600’s and a cannon ball that was excessively heavy that did in fact fall off a wall. The actual cartoon, Humpty Dumpty, didn’t appear as an egg until Lewis Carol put him into Alice Through the Looking Glass in 1810. So why is he an egg that falls and can’t be put back together again? No one really knows.
I’ve learned that after we go through a great loss, those around us treat us as if we’re Humpty Dumpty and about to fall.
Those first few months after losing my Dad I felt like I was Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall. As I went back to work or ran into someone at the store, I could see their face change to a look of pity and caution. As if the words they wanted to say to me would push me over the wall causing me to fall down and shatter into a million pieces just like Humpty Dumpty. I’ve been on both sides of this and I know what it’s like to want to choose the best words for some one who is suffering. The truth is, there are no words some days and we just have to settle with “I’m glad to see you today”.
It’s been two years and people still treat me like I’m Humpty Dumpty. They hesitate to tell me about someone else passing away from cancer or fighting leukemia because they fear it will upset me. Some times people avoid talking about their own Dad because I’m there and mine isn’t around anymore and they don’t want to bring up the subject. While I appreciate my friends looking out for me, I’m not humpty dumpty.
While yes, I do find myself a tad bit jealous that others still get to call Dad up on the phone to help them fix something, I don’t get upset by someone telling me his or her story. Everyone’s story is different and listening to a person’s story is the greatest gift I can offer anyone. Everyone’s story is worth hearing.
So no, I will not break if you tell me about your dad. Yes, that hole in my heart will ache a little, but I won’t break. If a person tells me something about his or her dad and it reminds me of mine, I want to tell that story too. It’s a good memory and I would love to share it.
So often when I mention him, people get uneasy. I’m not sure why, I’m the one leading the conversation and if I want to talk about him I will. If I don’t want to talk about him, I won’t. I know my triggers and will avoid them if I want to because I’m a slight control freak. Some days, though, some days I need to cry and I need to talk about him so that I do cry. Just because I choke up a little when I tell my stories, does not mean I’ve turned into Humpty Dumpty post-wall. Sad emotions don’t mean you’ve fallen apart. Holding back our emotions is not healthy even if they are the uncomfortable ones.
I have found the only people who fully understand this, are the ones who have walked a similar path. I know my Dad is gone, but he lived a good life and I got to be a part of that life. It makes my heart happy to tell of that life and the adventures we took.
In the past 2 years I’ve learned that when we can no longer love someone here on this physical earth, we grieve. We grieve not because we miss them or want to talk to them, but simply because this person we love can no longer receive that love, therefore we grieve. That’s all grief is, love with nowhere to go. Then some days I get to talk about him and my love has somewhere to go for a little bit and my heart is happy.
Next time you come across someone going through grief and you want to make them smile. Ask them to tell you about their person and give their love somewhere to go.