...4 years, one month and 3 days since my father died. I can't believe I haven't laid my eyes on my dad for so long. It seems unreal.
The lesson that I learned from losing my dad is this...I used to believe that at some point in my life I would 'get over it'. But I haven't. And what I've come to realize is that I don't think I will ever 'get over' the loss of my dad. No one ever 'gets over' losing someone that's so important to them. There is a huge void in my life and some days I see that huge open spot so clearly and I am still shocked that he's gone...even after all of this time.
I have been thinking about my dad a lot today. I got up this morning, looked out my kitchen window and saw a beautiful day ahead. It was sunny and crisp and clean. After I showered I went outside and looked over all of my pretty potted flowers and cleaned up my deck a bit. I decided to get out my seat cushions and my table cloth and sit outside and enjoy this beautiful day. As I was getting everything set up photos of the past ran through my head. I thought of how my husband and I regularly entertain our extended family out here on our deck and the good times we've had out here over the past 10 years. I felt so blessed to have a loving family surrounding us. I then thought of how my dad is no longer a part of these family gatherings and I immediately missed him.
Later that afternoon I had some free time between running my kids around and I decided to go to my quiet little place up by the dam. It was such a glorious day I thought it would be the perfect chance for me to go and enjoy the sunshine and the peace and quiet.
After I dropped my daughter off at her party I headed to my destination. As I approached my place of solitude I began weeping. I'm sure part of the reason I started crying was because I have been so busy and overwhelmed lately. I rarely get that chance to just sit back and enjoy the silence and apparently I was in desperate need of some quiet time.
As I continued driving I cried more and more. I was...plain and simple...feeling sorry for myself. I hate how unfair it is that I have to live my life without my dad. I hate that my kids will be raised without their grandfather. I was watching Dr. Phil the other day. The show was about broken families. The daughters and the father couldn't work out their issues. I could strangle them!!! Don't they know how lucky they are to have their dad sitting there with them???
Finally Dr. Phil piped in...he said, "I buried my dad and you can't even begin to imagne the finality of that."
I COMPLETELY undertood him. It is so final...there are no words to express how final it is. You know how mothers and fathers will say that you can't put into words how much you love your kids? Well, it's the same feeling when you lose someone you love. You can't even begin to scratch the surface and explain the depth of your loss.
After I settled down I couldn't help but remember an interview I read in the Parade Magazine a few weeks earlier. The writer spoke with actor Keanu Reeves about the loss he has had to face in his life:
"Grief changes shape, but it never ends,” he told me. “People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong.
“When the people you love are gone, you’re alone,” he added quietly. “I miss being a part of their lives and them being part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here—what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be."
Yes, Mr. Reeves, I whole heartedly understand your pain.
I see how my pain comes to the surface every so often. It's not gone and never will be. I will face the pain of losing my dad for the rest of my life.
But rather than wallow in my pain I will keep moving along and keep all of the happy memories tucked away in my heart. I will always remeber my dad's bright and beautiful smile. I will be sad from time to time, but I will always treasure the fact that I had a loving and healthy relationship with my dad.
Until next time,