Monday, May 6, 2013

It’s Been 14 Years… And The Sorrow won’t Let Me Forget….

I was sitting at my sister-friend’s table last night, laughing and talking about the silly things we usually talk about. During the conversation, I was trying to convince her daughter to post this beautiful essay she had done for her college application process on my blog as part of my “Wednesday Guest Post.” The conversation was turned into a monologue of me explaining my blog, the reasons why I started it, my favourite piece and then she proceeded to read it. My stomach was in a knot, knowing what she was reading… I kept a smile on my face but inside I was slowly collapsing. She finished reading it, looked at me, got up, walked across the table and gave me a big hug. As soon as she released me from the hug I start sobbing… she had just read Dance with My Father.”

Today - 5,110 days since the day - his passing is no longer one of the first things I remind myself of when I wake up, nor is it the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. But make absolutely no mistake, the thought of him always makes me melancholic, and the memories of him leave me yearning. I miss him…
Following my dad’s death, I told myself, “It will get easier over time,” because I needed to believe… I needed him to know that I would be okay. But I didn’t consider the days and weeks, when it’s just as painful as if he had just left us yesterday. I didn’t consider the “triggers” that would remind me of the loss of potential. I failed to factor in the accomplishments, the anniversaries, the birthdays (his, my mom’s, mine, my brothers’ and sisters’, his grandkids’), every major event, every single milestone in my life and my children’s lives that I know he would have been proud of… the jokes, the music he loved… those are the potential celebrations that I will never have with him and I mourn every time… I feel as though I’ve been cheated out of sharing life’s most precious moments with someone who would have truly appreciated them.

My pain is present, making the absence as present as if the time has stood still on May 6th, 1999. My mind doesn’t grasp the reality of the years that have passed between then and now. There are days when I feel like it was just yesterday that he died but looking at my son is the reminder of the lifetime that has passed since my father’s death. It’s like being in a parallel universe, or living in the movie Inception; you know the truth and you know the reality, yet still your brain tries tirelessly to convince you otherwise.
I have finally come to realize that death is something you just simply don’t get over. I mean, how can you? You accept – or come to terms with it - by learning to deal with it on your own time and on your own terms. My truth is that it hurts… not constantly, but the wound is there. I love my dad. Fourteen years later, I still hope for the miraculous day where I could give up all that I own, every single possession, and anything at all that I could trade in… I would give it up.  I would give it all up just to spend one full day with my dad, because I just miss him that much.

Not too long ago, while trying to help my kindred sister who had just lost her dad and was missing him, I sent her a message which was true then and is still my truth. I said:

“I miss my dad, I miss him terribly. I want him back so bad. I want to yell and scream at someone and demand that they bring him back to me - to us, right now! But there is no one to yell at. He can’t come back… There is less in this world with him gone.
You will learn to grieve over him in a way that’s appropriate for you. Some days you will miss him because of good memories, some days it will be sad because of the missing moments, some days the heartache of not seeing him will be heart-wrenching and some days you will feel the blessing of knowing he watches over you and your family. All this is to say that after 13 years down my road without my dad, I truly believe until the day you join him, you will miss him… and that’s okay.”

I was 28 when I lost my dad. I was just starting to build a life, a family of my own. I have come to terms that my life isn’t complete without all the shared accomplishments, the talks, the many pieces of advice I need to share and receive from my dad, and I will live with the constant yearning of his presence and the grief of his absence and that is okay…

May 6th, 1999


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