It is one of those nights where everything bad that has happened in the past year hits me like a ton of bricks. It might feel like my wounds are healing, but the realization that my dad is dead and is never coming back rips me wide open. And I am left bleeding with no indication of it stopping soon. Maybe it is the cold weather that did me in. Or the thought of the holidays approaching and how different they’ll be. How my dad almost made it to 50. Maybe it is the news of my high school classmate passing away. Or maybe it is nothing at all-It is just my eternal sadness flaring up because I will never see my dad on this planet again.
I never anticipated joining the “my parent died” club so soon in life. Or if I did, I never expected my dad to be the one that made me cash in my membership. He was always fired up. Big and scary and always there. I never anticipated him going away. There were of course thousands of times that I wished he would leave. He wasn’t the nicest and we struggled. A lot. He brought a lot of hurt upon me and my family when I was just a kid. But I grew up and he grew up and we were good. We were all good. My mom, me, my brothers, and him. A cohesive, dysfunctional, modern family unit. He and I really started to grow a relationship and he became my “pop.” I would call him every Sunday, and although our conversations were always short and he was always gruff and agitated, I found such comfort in speaking to him, especially after my granny died. I felt safe knowing he was always going to be there.
Of course I knew deep down that someday I would lose my parents, but dammit, I wasn’t ready for it to happen so soon. He was here. And then he was sick. And then he was dead. So how do I move on when I can’t even wrap my head around it all? How do I ever feel ok again? He never got to become a father-in-law. He never got to retire. He never got to become a grandpa. He never got to feel true peace while alive, and now I can’t feel peace knowing he was robbed of some very good years.
So I will sit here and sob, and I’ll miss him with everything I am. And I will pray for a sign to know that he is ok wherever he is. He is happy. He is not in pain. He knows I love him and miss him and no one will ever be able to fill the hole in my heart.
It isn’t enough and it won’t bring him back, but it is all I have.