Finding Joy

Hello dear friends,

I think of you often and have much to share.  As expected, most of my days are filled with "How can he be gone?" thoughts.  My father always had a larger than life presence, so I imagine I'll be struggling with his loss for quite awhile.  My friend, Karlene, shared this quote with me from one of my favorite authors:

"You will someday lose someone you can't live without and your heart will be badly broken. The bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved, But this is also the good news, They will live forever in your broken heart, that doesn't quite seal back up. And you come through it. Its like having a broken leg that never heals properly-that still hurts when it gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp." Anne Lamont

(This reminds me, I must tell you, I did not write the previous quote about a ship... It was from an unknown source and I should have known better than to post it without the disclaimer that it was not my own :)

In other news, there is a lot of joy happening too.  The prolonged visit with my sister is therapeutic and awesome.  I love having her just a short path away.  I fall deeper in love with my niece everyday...she's just as awesome as I thought she would be.

In case you don't believe that the Orris/Krumich/Kasch/Kosker families can find joy amidst such sorrow... here is some proof:

featured in these photos:  Hazel & Heidi Kosker, my niece- Annaliese Kasch, Annie's dog- Butch Cassidy, my 2nd cousin -Izzy and my mom- super Grandma.

P.S.  I never realized how much the simple, heart-felt gestures mean when someone is grieving.  The sympathy cards, meals, gifts, emails, texts, posts, etc are so truly appreciated.  Thank you!


Stages of Grief

DABDA.  As a Psychology major, the order of those stages are permanently etched into my memory.  Denial- Anger- Bargaining- Depression- Acceptance.

I realized that though I've lost loved ones before, I've never been in the clutches of grief before.  While I realize I'm floating perilously close to depression, I know this is temporary.  Eventually a new normal will replace the tangible void in my life.  For now, his presence is so close, so real... I want to turn back time... to two years ago before illness after illness began to attack my beloved father.

Death is temporary, but right now it feels so final.  May we all be so lucky to have the faith, acceptance, strength, grace & peace that my father exhibited throughout his long battle.  All my life I've wanted to be just like him and now more than ever I will strive to embody the lessons he taught me.

Here is his obituary which was lovingly written by my mother.

Here is a wonderful blog post written by my cousin, Kathe, who has spent most of every summer of her life with us (well, near us at their summer home).  This is a beautifully written post that touched me deeply.

Many friends are sharing their memories on my facebook wall and I read and re-read them.  My friend Cyn just wrote her own reflection which I will cherish...and roll my eyes.

Thank you all for sharing this journey with me!  Feel free to continue to send me your memories of my dad... I truly appreciate it!


Until we meet again...

John Adam Orris, Jr.  
My hero.  My constant.  My rock.  My mentor.  My dad.

October 3, 1949- June 4, 2013

I stand upon the ocean shore as a ship at my side opens its sail to the morning breeze and begins to glide across the blue water.  It reaches the horizon and someone at my side says, "It's gone."  Gone where?  Gone from my sight, that is all.  It is just as large now as when I last saw it.  It's diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in it.  And just at that moment, when someone at my side says it is gone, there are others watching it coming over their horizon and other voices take up a glad shout--"There it comes!"

I'm sure I'll have more to say in the days to come.  For now, I will reflect, weep, rejoice and accept the love and support showering down upon my family during this difficult time.

Thank you.