Thursday, August 23, 2007

Coping with grief?

Jim Lamar, Sports Editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, wrote a gorgeous and heartbreaking piece about yesterday's funeral services for Ronnie Andrews, only son of FSU Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews.

Sudden death is grippingly difficult to shake. The grief is suffocating and overwhelming - the "what-ifs" begin almost immediately, and you wonder if you could have said one last "I love you" or "Goodbye." Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

There are no good answers for how to deal with grief - everyone will handle it in a different way. Some will find a constructive route, others will choose to let their grief destroy them, and still others will avoid it for lack of knowing how to absorb it.

My own grief at the sudden death of my dad came to a startling head on Valentine's Day. D. was working late, so I opened a bottle of shiraz, settled down with some chocolate, and read Rob Sheffield's phenomenal "Love is a Mix Tape." That was the night the floodgates opened; I finally allowed myself to grieve privately. I cried, I whimpered, and I tried to understand how my dad was taken from us. I tried to understand why he'd never walk me down the aisle, or needle me about Air Force's woeful option offense. It physically hurt to imagine him not knowing my children (erm, someday). It's brutal, folks.

Life comes rushing at you fast when you're 27 and go from making hotel reservations for your parents to visit at the holidays (and meet your boyfriend) to picking out a casket and delivering a eulogy that you hope in some way encapsules part of the spark that makes a person who they were, and what their memory should be.

So let's all take a moment and send warm fuzzies and caring thoughts to those who have to struggle with something as horrific as losing a child - Coach and Mrs. Andrews, my prayers and thoughts are with you and your entire family. God bless.

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