Pasta and Lamb

Roxanne and I spoke about it at therapy on Wednesday, she reminded me that I had to work through the grief when it hit me that I'm still in transition.

This is the first Easter without Dad, and the last Easter at my childhood home.

Last Easter, after months of Dad saying how much he wanted lamb I made a reservation at Tanoreen in Bay Ridge -- a Middle Eastern restaurant known for its various lamb dishes and highly rated by Zagat, Yelp and others. Easter was early that year at the tail end of March. Initially it was going to be just my dad and I. With the India trip just a month away, I decided to invite Advaitha to join us.

The three of us sat at a round table in the center of a boisterously loud room. Dad was subdued. Looking back I realize he had surrendered conversation because of the inability to hear, something he grappled with as he aged. I think also that his frustration over the noisy patrons was a direct result of his annoyance toward me for not choosing an Italian restaurant. It wasn't until we were seated with water glasses filled and menus in hand that he mentioned wanting pasta and lamb.

Source: Kate & Julio's Kitchen Blog - click for recipe.

Pasta and lamb. Pasta and lamb is Italian. The choices are endless in our neighborhood. It would have been an easy fix even if it was Easter. One year later, it makes me sick to my stomach that I didn't gather him up and take him elsewhere.

It's a silly form of regret, I know. I was a good daughter and some days I could have been a better one. Oddly those days are the ones that creep back first. Flashes of my impatience and short-temper unleashed, the moments where my cocky arrogance spewed condescension...no good comes from that kind of reminiscing but its impression lingers still.


Lost in Transition

Here's the thing about grief...you never know when it's going to hit you, what will trigger a change of heart, a change in mood. One minute you're fine, the next, not so much. Maybe it was the fresh air or the restless sleep from last night catching up to me or maybe it was the wine. Whatever it was, it hit me this afternoon. One minute I'm concentrating on framing the picturesque landscape with my camera and the next I'm retreating into my thoughts, quiet as a mouse in the tour van. I excused myself from the afternoon activities to relinquish this hollow feeling. It's hard to do when you're with friends and they're raring to go sightseeing and shopping but it's the right thing to do for them and for yourself. And it's much easier pawing through it when you're alone and the only thing that makes sense is sitting by the fire with a hot cup of coffee.

Lost in transition, any one of us going through loss, picking up the pieces...until we work through it, we are in this state of uncertainty, in limbo. There's no shortcut to healing your heart, no magic potion to make the pain go away. The only way to get through it is to face grief head on. Some people don't get it though. They ignore the pain, think it will disappear if they don't pay any attention. Some people act on impulse, make decisions without thinking of the consequences. Others get angry or fall into despair, and still some act like the grief doesn't exist, like nothing's wrong. We all know someone like that but you can't hide from grief, it finds a way in whether you realize it or not.

Grief is not easy, if anything at all, it's scary and it doesn't matter how many times you go through it. If only we talked more about death before it happened. What it means when death happens to the old, to the young, what it means for those of us left behind. Falling in love is rare, death on the other hand happens every second of every day.

When death takes someone that we love, when it hits close to home and we can feel the grief settling in...we find ourselves standing still but also moving forward.