I believe that in order to truly know someone, you have to dig deep; and in order to let someone get to know you, you have to be vulnerable. You also have to accept that judgement, criticism and negative vibes can arise. I have gone back and forth with starting a separate blog, for personal things. But to me, it's all my life - so here I am.
I want to talk about loss, specifically the loss of my Father. It has had a huge impact on my life. It has made me fear death. It gives me anxiety, daily, that I could lose someone I love, at any moment. Losing a loved one at any point in time is something that can happen to anyone - but some people just don't think about it, until it happens. One thing that some people say to one another, after a loss, is that it "gets easier". That's not always true. I thought it would get easier....because you can't grieve the loss of someone forever, right? The problem with that is, unless that person isn't someone that you wanted to be involved in all of the moments of your future, you will be reminded with every one of those moments, that they won't be there. People will say that they still are, and you'll agree, to a certain extent. But having them there in spirit obviously isn't the same.
The Moments they Can't be There for
Some decisions that seemed so easy to make before, aren't anymore. Let's get one of the big ones out of the way - my Daddy can't walk me down the isle and give me away. The man that struggled with me moving out as a teenager, and called me to have me listen to a song on the radio, that made him miss me, won't be there. The man who raised me, built me snow forts, carried my bike over his shoulder when my legs got tired, let me go to his bowling league in my footie jammies....he can't give me away on my wedding day. - He didn't get to. I've already been through it once; making the decision of who was going to "take his place"'; making the decision of what I'll do instead of my Father/Daughter dance. I was 20 years old on my wedding day. My Dad was taken when I was 19. I was too young to even realize what I was getting myself into, let alone make those kind of decisions. Looking back, it seemed easy then. I think about marriage now, in the future - and I can't wait to marry the love of my life, but it devastates me that I wont be able to squeeze my Dad's hand, look at him to keep me on my feet down the isle and kiss him and tell him how much I love him when he hands over my heart. What do I think of? "Maybe this time I'll just walk by myself and carry his picture"....because that's all I have left of him.
My kids; they're amazing. My Dad wasn't in the room, or the waiting room...or even waiting at home to hold them when they came into this world. I've made it a point to make sure they know who he is and where he is. This part is hard for me to find the words for. He doesn't get to see or meet the biggest accomplishment in my entire life; the thing I'm best at. My kids will never get to experience the things with their papa, that I loved him so deeply for.
Sometimes I just want him to be sitting next to me. No words need to be said. I just want to look at him. I want to pay close attention to the wrinkles around his mouth - that he passed right on down to me; and that intimidating scowl that he doesn't even realize takes over his entire face; and that smile. When my Dad smiled, it was special. Sometimes, when I'm alone at the table, drinking my coffee, I think about calling him. For a split second, I actually think it's a possibility. I just want to talk about life with him. "I'm gonna call Dad and see if he wants to come over for a bit" - and then my heart literally hurts. I have more of those moments, as I get older.
The last moment with my Father that sticks so vividly in my mind, is my high school graduation. He high fived me as I walked up on stage. He was so proud of me. And one of the other moments, isn't a good one...and no matter how hard I try, those moments hurt just as much as the good ones, feel good.
What could I have done? Why was I so mean? Why wasn't I there? I didn't get to say I'm sorry. I didn't get to say goodbye. - Neither did he.
The Reminder....over and over again...
When someone mentions their Dad, Fathers Day, Christmas and any other Holiday, his birthday, my birthday, the kids birthday, the anniversary of his death, weddings, funerals.....tell me again HOW it gets easier?
The anxiety creeps up on me. Out of nowhere, I'll think, "what if Mom died?". I start getting all worked up and then snap back to reality and take a deep breath and tell myself she's still here and that it's okay. Then sometimes immediately after I'll have a bad feeling - "something happened to my sister." Take another deep breath - "it's fine. Everything is fine - they're alive; they're here. Dad's here"...and then I can't breathe.
I miss him. I'm learning as I get older that there is no other way to deal with grief than to just grieve. It's not going away - and it definitely isn't getting easier. Hold tight to those you love, while you have them. Tell them you love them and say you're sorry. Don't be bitter. Pick up the phone. Be there.
I don't want this to be depressing. I'm not being a pessimist. I often smile, thinking about my Father. But I do want people to stop giving those who grieve a great loss false hope that it get's easier - because it doesn't for all.