‘He says he plays baseball with my dad at night.’: Mom navigates grief over loss of father during son’s ‘special day’

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“A special day. A hard and special day. I knew it was coming.

My dad loved the game. I grew up at a ballpark. The sound of bats and cheering, and the smell of diamond dirt are sacred territory.

I didn’t talk to my dad much, but I knew it was one of the days I would have Facetimed with him. He would have beamed. This would have been a special, teary-eyed day for him.

Grief and gratitude, friends. They are very much living in my heart simultaneously—grief and gratitude.

He says he plays baseball with my dad at night. He has come out of bed a few times in the morning and he talked about the baseball game they played.

young baseball player standing on a baseball field with his name on the back of his shirt
Courtesy of Kristen Brust

My dad wasn’t involved much with us this side of heaven, so the heaven-sanctioned league makes me feel like they have their own connection.

One that doesn’t care about logistics or health. Anointed connection. Second and forever chances.

Friends, sometimes the walk is heavier. Often, grief is sneaky. In my grief and trauma therapy, we are working on a lot of deep and good things.

Sitting with grief is one. Me crying more is another. So today on our way to his first baseball game, we listened to Motown like he was sitting shotgun with us.

We danced and sang…and I cried private driver seat tears. That’s the beauty and the messiness of this side of Heaven. Forgiving and celebrating.

It’s incredibly important to learn your people. It’s equally, if not more, important to learn yourself. I’m proud of how Legend showed up today. I’m proud of how I showed up, too.

It’s poetic to watch another little guy love baseball this much. It’s also awesome to have friends come to cheer you both on.

Keep forgiving, keep trying, keep celebrating, keep crying, keep loving, and keep showing up true to your own heart.

I love y’all. Thanks for everything you’ve kept supplying to my tired heart over the last year. You are a big part of my gratitude. And I’m here for all your special and hard days.”

Young baseball player sitting on a bench chair wearing a baseball glove and hat
Courtesy of Kristen Brust

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kristen Brust of Nashville, TN. You can follow her journey on Instagram, her website, and her podcastSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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