Riding the Bike with One Pedal.


Five years ago, Life took my world and upended it, spinning me off onto a journey no one ever really wants to take. This blog became my voice for dealing with some of my grief; some of it you never saw, darker times and a desire to end the pain any way possible.  What really pissed me off about the pain after my father’s death is that it just wouldn’t go away. After all, we experience heartbreak when a relationship comes to an end, shouldn’t our heart sew itself back up, the wound heal, the ache easing each day, until one day you forget what he looked like, you struggle to remember his last name?

Nope. Grief is a motherfucker. It’s non-linear, and sometimes it can feel as raw and as fresh as the day it happened, which gives your brain whiplash the first 600 times or so, because you just think, “How…..?” Grief comes with a horse-sized dosage of bewilderment, that’s for sure.

Because Grief’s DNA is love. And unlike an ex-boyfriend, losing someone you love your whole life so deeply leaves a hole that doesn’t sew itself up magically. You stop bleeding, eventually, and the hole toughens up a bit, and life moves on and you realize you just have to figure out how to live with the hole, instead of fixing it or checking out completely.

Despite my tears and lumps in my throat as this day approached, like clockwork, I woke up this morning, remembered the anniversary – and then I thought instantly of all the good things I have in my life to be grateful for, to turn my face to like sunshine, to be my focal point in the day. Funny things, fun plans. Good friends, both on and off the internet, family – both blood and by choice.  At the center of it all, a wonderful husband who’s watched all of this, walked beside me, propped me up and adapted to the changes and loved me completely despite the craziness – and so much more.

I’ll cry again, probably more today; I know it, I understand where it comes from, and I’m not going to try and stop it.  I think that’s a big step in the grieving process: instead of fighting the current when it rushes forward, to just breathe deeply and accept that this wave, this surge of emotion is all part of it, when you love someone unconditionally and completely, you will never stop missing them.  My memories have not faded or been lost, as I feared so much in the first year after his death. I can talk about him, recount stories, even hear his voice in my head, spot my own words and action and instantly know they would be exactly what he would do, and hear his approving laugh in my head when I have a funny encounter or was able to display the quick wit he trained in me.

Miss you, dad. May we all be loved as much to live on in the hearts of others.


  1. ChelleC

    So glad to read your posts and hear your online “voice” these past several years. Your Dad really created a talent-filled daughter with a remarkably healthy (and humorous) perspective that is such a pleasure to find.

  2. Mary

    Your post made me cry today. I feel the same way about my Dad and that anniversary is coming up next month too. I knew that I had turned the corner when I told someone that I learned so much from my Dad in life and in death. He continues to teach without being here in person….I think your Dad does too.


  3. Cindy

    Beautiful, Jen. Thank You.

  4. Tony

    Plaza Jen, thank you for sharing this with us. I read this yesterday and didn’t know how to respond because I was struck by your candor. Now, I think I just share the same sentiments with the previous commenters and I’m just grateful to have read this post.

  5. PlazaJen

    Thanks to all of you – Chelle, Mary, Cindy & Tony – for your kind comments. It means a lot!

  6. Lisa

    Very, very nice. You were able to put into words the feelings of many who have lost a parent– I’ve felt it was something no one is really able to understand unless they have also experienced it. Written beautifully. He must be so proud.

  7. jessi


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