July 12 is quickly approaching. In my mind, I thought it was six months. I've really lost track of time. But when I count, it's actually just five months that Dad's been gone.
It feels like forever. But it also feels like just yesterday.
I can still see Mom standing outside Eryn's house on February 12. I can hear her telling me that Dad had taken an overdose of his medication. I can still feel the confusion as I asked if we needed to go to the hospital. And the pain as she said he was gone. My eyes well with tears as I remember wailing in my sister's front yard, barely comprehending.
Five months is nothing. The wound is still so fresh. My heart is still broken. Yet life around me is moving forward. It's a strange feeling.
I broke down at my physical therapist appointment last week when I told him the importance of my fall half marathon. We're doing The Giant Race in Dad's memory, and I couldn't explain it to him without tearing up.
When Dad first died, everything revolved around that. Now, life is returning to normal - our new normal - but my heart still hurts. I'm expected to go about my day, but while I don't vocalize it all the time, my mind and heart are still grieving - still thinking about it all the time. Others in our lives have moved on. But I have not. It's too soon.
I miss my dad when I'm at a park, full of big trees or beautiful views. I miss my dad when I'm standing in his garage surrounded by all his tools and fix-it stuff. I miss my dad when I'm looking at my broken fence and wishing he was there to show me how to repair it. I miss my dad when I see the two buckets of rocks he dropped off in my driveway shortly before his death. I miss my dad when I open my drawer and see all the decks of playing cards. I miss my dad when I see his unused bicycle and hi-vis vest.
Now, Mom is preparing to sell their house - the house they built together, the house I grew up in, the house they planned to live in for many, many more years. We're going through cupboards and bookcases and drawers and closets. We're dividing boxes into the "keep" and "sale" piles. Life is being sorted and labeled. In a way, it's nice to take inventory and see what's really important and needed. But it's also so odd to judge each item as worthy of keeping or letting go.
Back to the big picture: I'm really struggling with the meaning of it all. What's the meaning of life when it's full of so much pain.
Up until five months ago, my life was good. Other than the sudden death of a friend in seventh grade, and the expected death of some elderly grandparents, I had never experienced death or major trauma. Every moment of life wasn't fantastic, but in general, life was good. Things were sometimes challenging, but I could find positives on which to focus.
Then in one single day, my whole life crashed down around me. There are no parts of my life untouched by this event. While the pain has lessened in the past months, it's still there. And even after it fades, nothing will ever be the same without my dad.
But my indescribable pain comes from a single devastating incident. In reality, there are many, many people out there living with trauma every day.
I have more than a few friends who've prematurely lost their fathers in the past year or so. I have a friend whose chronic migraines forced her to quit her job. I have friends with debilitating diseases who struggle just to walk and do daily tasks. I have friends who've lost babies. I know parents working multiple jobs just to survive. I know people facing homelessness. I have friends who face constant discrimination based on their skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
How is this OK? How is this fair? What's the point of life that's so full of pain?
Obviously, not every minute of life is horrible. But what's the tipping point? At what point is it all worth it? When does the pleasure outweigh the pain?
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Like the others, these old photos simultaneously warm and break my heart. What a sweet boy.
Dad loved animals so much!
Dad adored his grandparents and spoke so fondly of their time together!
Again, a big thanks to Aunt Cynthia for the photos.
Miss you, Dad! 💗