It’s hard to believe that a month has passed since I said good-bye to my Dad. I still can’t explain how I feel to anyone. One minute, I am laughing and joking, and the next I am trying to hide tears. It’s not like I have never lost anyone close to me before, but the reality is, I had never before lost my Dad.
It’s not something that you can prepare for, even when I knew he was terminally ill. You just keep waiting for him to be the next miracle cancer survivor, so you don’t want to prepare yourself for the inevitable even if you know it’s coming.
Most of the time, I want my alone time so that I can miss my Dad the way I know how without feeling guilty. I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty, but for some reason, I do. On the other hand, when I am laughing with family and friends, I feel guilty then as well.
I don’t think there is any definition of grief. I think that it is different for every person, and I believe that I am struggling to cope with life, and I am struggling to cope with death. What I mean is this, when I am living, I feel guilty that I’m not grieving, and when I’m grieving, I feel guilty that I’m not living. It’s the only way I know how to explain it.
The only stations I have been listening to (on Pandora) are Bruce Springsteen, and a few of the other classic rock stations that play the music my Dad loved. It’s then that I can smile and feel happy because it’s then that I feel so close to him. It takes me back to when I still lived at home. Dad would come home from work, when he would be gone for days at a time on the railroad, and it would be 3 or 4 in the morning. I can remember being so mad at him that he would turn the stereo on in the living room. He didn’t even turn it on loud, but I would wake up when I would hear him come in, so naturally, I could hear the music. I would give anything to wake up to my Dad playing his favorite tunes on the stereo. I would give anything to have just one more day with him.
It seems to be getting harder by the day, and I think that it has finally become “reality”. I have finally realized that I cannot call my dad anymore, and I cannot sit out in the sun with him anymore. The newspapers piling up on my front porch might just be piling up because I don’t want to throw them out. I don’t know what to do with them. The only reason I subscribed to the newspaper was for him.
I am beginning to feel lost without him. I am beginning to feel like I don’t know how I ever coped with him being so far away from me for the past 9 years. Maybe because I knew I could call, I knew I could visit. Now, all I have are the memories from those phone calls and visits, and all of the days before December 29, 2018.
I will forever miss my dad, and I will forever cherish every last minute that I had with him.