Eight years ago today, it was cold enough to snow in October. And eight years ago today, I was told that my father had passed away, in his sleep, some time in the wee hours of the morning.
Those of you who’ve known me for a long time, know that everything changed after that.
I never really thought of myself as an adult, as a grownup, until my father died. I had just gotten married a few weeks before he passed, but even that act of commitment didn’t change that perspective. Helping to choose your father’s coffin? That’s adult.
I’ve said quite a bit about my father over these past eight years, and what I’m trying to come to terms with now is how his death has changed me, as well as changed my family. My mother, to this day, has no idea what to do with herself. She has not gotten over it. I think her grief is as fresh as the day it happened, and as much as she tries to fill up the empty space, it’s not going away. She has stopped going to therapy, and we can’t convince her to go back.
As for me, I just miss my father’s presence. To this day, I still think of things I’d love to share with him — not monumental things, just little everyday things — and it pains me that I can’t. And, of course, it kills me that he hasn’t met Rob. I know they would have gotten along so well.
I’m having a particularly hard time with my father’s death this year, and I think some of that is because of the wedding. My father wasn’t there when I divorced M, and that was okay…but this was the first big joyous occasion for me, for us, and he wasn’t there to be a part of that.
It’s hard, too, because when he first passed away, I felt comforted when I went to the cemetery. I still felt some kind of connection. Eight years on, I don’t. I’m not even completely sure I should be doing this anymore. And yet, there’s a part of me that thinks, “Suppose he knows? And suppose he’s hurt that I’ve stopped going?” Which, I know, is kind of nuts, but that’s pretty much where I’m at.
I’m keeping this brief — I have much more to say, but I need to catch the bus out to Long Island. I’m just thinking of my father today, and I’m sad and tired. I simply wish he was here.