On Grief, Love, and Honey-Roasted Peanuts

I welcomed this month with more fragility than fanfare. Sweet November, my favorite month of the year and time when I feel most like myself or at least it used to be. Last year I curated the onset of November to be filled with enough activity to overshadow the obvious burden of the grief I carried from losing my father the previous year. I was in the grasps of a new relationship, a new decade, a metaphorical new beginning but I also held on to the loss that would commemorate all that newness. As such, time continued to march on, and I was loved more, I learned more, and continued to push the pain that was still lingering way back in the recesses of my mind where I stored all the things, I wanted to forget like not passing the bar on my first attempt or my first dance with heartbreak. Life does not wait for no man nor woman, and regardless of the people or things that may be missing, you will also miss out on the moments if you hold on too tight to the things that once were.

If you have been following my grief journey or bared witness to any of the other writings, I have shared about the process of grief then you know that it is something I find easier to write about than express verbally. I felt compelled to write this bit today as it has been tugging on my shirt tail since the seasons began to change. It is more of a confession than it is a proclamation, but it is one that must be made before I can move forward in my process. I am madly in love with a man who will soon be my husband, but it hurts me to the core that the man who loved me first will not be here to see me finally, boldly, and properly be loved. Celebrating my birthday while grieving was an easy feat in comparison to planning a wedding and ultimately giving birth to a new chapter that sprang forth from the death of another. By the end of this year, I will have a new last name. I will no longer be his, but I will now belong to another he. Although it truly is a moment I have dreamed of my entire life, reality set in all over again with the onset of November.

I found myself questioning if I had all the right tools to be fully present for this man and this moment with the gaping holes left in my heart from all the losses I have endured. I made the decision that I must walk forward alone down the aisle because no person walking this earth could ever stand in for my father. I fake smiled through October knowing that this month and the impending anniversary of his death were going to happen regardless of what I did. But I did not expect the magnitude of November to silence me in such a manner. I was silent for the majority of the day on Halloween. We went about the next day as normal as possible despite learning of the tragic murder of a major celebrity in our city. I played my music, I did my work, but as soon as he came home, he took one look at me and instantly knew that behind it all there was pain and there was still grief. Surprisingly, the night before I had pre-recorded an episode of my podcast about dealing with grief while still in your winning season. He had not been in the room while I was recording and did not know what the topic was, but when I looked at that man he just knew and understood everything I had been struggling to say and hiding from everyone because I was too ashamed to admit that even during the happiest moment of my life I was still grieving. He knew before I even opened my mouth. He did not have to say many words in that moment, but he listened as I allowed myself to release, and he let me express my feelings through my tears. And he understood.

I keep the majority of our happenings in-house, but as I let myself feel, my mind wandered back to a small incident that occurred over the weekend. He had driven my car to work, and when I opened the door the next morning, to my surprise my front seat was covered in honey roasted peanuts and peanut shells. A core memory returned to me of all the many mornings I would go out to my car and find it littered with honey roasted peanuts because my daddy was notorious for recklessly indulging in them while driving our cars and leaving the evidence behind. I said to myself, “damn William has been in my car again” without even realizing that no, he obviously could not have been in my car. I did not know my honey liked honey roasted peanuts, but when he sheepishly looked at me and I realized he was the real culprit behind all the remains in my seat I could not do anything but laugh. Laugh and laugh, until I started crying.

You see, in that moment the tears I shed were not shed in sadness. They were more like an expression of emotion that could not be controlled in that moment of remembrance. That moment brought me back to a space I shared with my father. In some way it felt as if my father had been in my car and left his mark. He was not only saying hello but also reminding me that he was leaving me in capable hands. Because any man who likes honey roasted peanuts and leaves evidence of it in the front seat of my car must be a good man and is William Hamilton approved.

November will be good. I will enjoy every moment of the memories being made and I will do so gladly with my grief tucked away neatly in my pocket. I will not deny myself the opportunity to take it out when I need too because it is mine and I am allowed to handle it anyway I see fit for me. I am grateful to have a partner who is present and understanding, and willing to be there for me during the good times and the bad. I am allowed to feel everything that I am feeling. My grief will not prevent me from living more, loving still, and learning more about this next phase of life. You can be happy and experience joy while still grieving. My November will be a testament to that…

2 thoughts on “On Grief, Love, and Honey-Roasted Peanuts

  1. Beautifully said, Fallon! Your vulnerability in this season is your both your lesson and strength for what’s ahead. What’s ahead will be blessed. On occasion the blessings within your life will have challenges trying to tag along, that’s the balance of it all. It’s more than ok to embrace the joys of life and equally embrace the lows. I admire you for taking it all head on and not hiding any of it. Others that are dealing with similar things need to be reminded that they aren’t alone. I hope that this experience reminded you the same thing. You aren’t alone either. We rock with you in all of it!
    -Erin

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post Fallon, I am so honored to be a part of your journey.

    Like

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