So I suppose this is the magical year. The year I finally woke up on Dec 9th and didn’t think about “what was happening ___ years ago right now.” or ____ years ago today or ____ years ago this same time.
My dad died 11 years ago today. For the last ten years i’ve recited this dialogue in my at various times during the day focusing on what happened a decade ago. It is at the same time unbelievable how much time has gone by, and how it felt like just yesterday this happened. I’m not sure many other things can really feel so very far apart and together at the same time.
My children’s birth, no. I remember and feel every tantrum and really great day between their birth and now. Every birthday flips through my head. While i miss them as babies, it’s refreshing to get to every checkpoint.
With losing my dad it’s just surreal. I suppose there’s pages and pages i could delve into the psychology of the magnitude of losing a parent, but it’s closing in on 11 and i’m tired! Obviously, that’s what makes this situation unique… but still… i wouldn’t have thought it would take this long. I still recall the same old feeling of “__ years ago on this very day” but i’m actually just kind of tired of reliving it. He certainly wouldn’t want that. .. well, not to the degree I can get upset about it anyway. I’m sure he’s happy to be remembered and thought of.
Once in a while a song gets me when i’m alone in the car – a rare occasion, i assure you. Or i’ll think of something with my kids or my brothers and i’ll just be sad that he’s missed it.
But here we are eleven years later and i’m not compelled to write the same story here of what happened and how the day unfolded.
I am still, however, unable to erase the events of the week of his death. The planning I had to step up and be a part of for the funeral … and the funeral itself. That was on the 13th. A Thursday. It was truly a beautiful day and it’s not something that will ever leave me. But the heaviness of it has abated. That’s nice. It’s a relief. Grieving does not stop at the funeral. It begins there. The day after the funeral is when you really have to deal with it. It sinks in in the quiet. In the times you really want to talk to someone, but have nothing to say.
I was 25 when my dad died, and no one close to me understood what that was like.
And at 25 I don’t think they really wanted to understand it. It’s heavy. It’s depressing.
People say, “Let me know if there’s anything i can do for you.” But they don’t always mean it. Some people are open to doing for you what they are comfortable with. It’s not comfortable to just sit and watch a friend be sad. I understand that.
Anyway, i’m happy to close out this day having focused on not giving my last bit of sanity over to my kids who refuse to close their little angel eyes and lay down their hard heads to sleep when it’s bedtime. I focused on getting a Christmas tree, and finding decorations and playing Christmas music, and letting the day go by as usual.
Fighting the urge to run out the front door screaming towards the nearest 31 flavors. 🙂
Hug your people, and appreciate the souls in your house at the end of every long day. They are gifts. Loud, demanding, moody glorious gifts.