and so…it begins…

It’s been one month since my dad passed away. One month. The world keeps spinning, people are having birthdays, getting married, having children…and the routine predictable busy-ness of my life has returned to normal. But it’s not. My drive to and from work has become a time of reflection, tears and processing. There is definitely a void, and the irony is not lost on me that even though we would go weeks without seeing or speaking to each other, I still feel a void. I can hear his voice, his laugh…for some reason his hands are so vivid in my memory.

I have come to the realization that his actions…and inaction…throughout his life had a profound effect on me and truly did shape the person I am and how I relate to others. Sad how evident now that is he is gone. Hindsight…

My relationship with dad was complicated. I loved him. He was my father. But I also felt like I was kept at arm’s length, so I never felt free to be my true self with him. Because he was so guarded with me, I was with him. Except for the random intense dialogues I had with him, usually in or regarding conflict with him or within our family, I can’t remember any profound intimate conversations I had with him. His opinion wasn’t a factor in any major decisions I made in my life. I didn’t use him as a sounding board or go to him for advice. I often felt like an afterthought with him, and so unfortunately and I am ashamed to admit, I treated him as an afterthought. How terribly sad.

Up to the day of his death, I often wondered if I would even feel grief. He cultivated such close intimate relationships with many people, but those people did not include me. I never realized the lives he touched, the depth of friendships he had, until he died and his life was shared through their eyes. It was heartbreaking. I wanted that with him. I wanted…a dad. I can’t help but feel a twinge of anger that they got to experience this side of him and we did not. Why did he hold back with us and not with others? Not fair. I sat in that church pew sobbing as they spoke so eloquently about him, choking back tears, and ached for that connection that will never happen now.

And so I am grieving. I am grieving the small, albeit significant relationship we did forge. I am grieving the relationship that never was…again. I’m not sure what is more devastating; grieving a relationship lost, or grieving a relationship that never was, and knowing there is the permanence that it will never be. I am surprised by the ferocity of it.

Grief is such an exhausting emotion. It hits me suddenly…it sneaks up on me when I’m not prepared for it or the inevitable internal processing that must accompany it in order for me to heal. The healing part is so hard. Wallowing in grief so easy….and as I process and slowly heal I am scared that I am also letting him go. I am moving on…he is not. It seems cruel. The memory of the sad little relationship I had with my dad is all I have left; and despite the anger, the guilt, the strained conversations, the tense moments and the seemingly continuous trying to delve below the surface with him…it is what I am ferociously clinging to right now…

And then {Serendipity!} this wonderful, gentle man I married reminds me that it has also been 3 months since we said “I do”. Perspective. Choosing joy in the middle of sadness…love you hubs.

2 thoughts on “and so…it begins…

  1. This is a beautiful post. I also can’t believe it has been a month and think of your Dad often.
    Absolutely love the name of your blog. The best way and only way I can deal with life. Whiskey and Jesus!

    Like

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