17 years ago, in the wee hours between November 29th and 30th, I held my fathers hand as he left us. It was and will always be one of the most important moments in my life.
If you’ve lost a close family member you know it never really gets easier. That’s not the right word. It gets more normal maybe, but life is still never quite right. Something is always just a little bit off. Missing.
I miss him every day. And I never know when something will remind me of him, but it happens all the time. I see him in my kids, in their ornery senses of humor and quiet loving ways. I still can’t watch a TV show or movie where the dad dies. It kills me every single time. And you know what … I’m totally okay with that. I’m perfectly fine with the crushing feeling in my chest that I get when I thing about a father dying. Because it sucks.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have happy memories of him and I have the ability to think of my dad and smile and laugh and there are many, many, many things in life that make me think of him with a smile. But I also cry and that’s perfectly fine with me. Because I miss my dad and it makes me sad that he is gone. I hope that in 17 more years I still cry sometimes when I miss him. Not all sadness is bad and not all heartache is unnecessary. Sometimes it’s a reminder of a love larger than life.
I love you dad. And I always will.