If this had a sub-heading, it would most certainly be “or how to lose a Father, the manual”. As it turns out, most of my posts don’t have a sub-heading, and we just have to make do without it on this occasion.
I have so much to say about my Dad, about the loss of my Dad, about waking up one day to the reality of that loss. I have so much to say and nothing at all, all at once. I’ve got nothing.
My pain is as raw as it is not there. Surely you cannot feel for what hasn’t happened, right? If only you can forget it happened, if you can ignore your new reality, if you can pretend you’ll get a phone call any minute now, to talk about the weather, the shit summer, polishing shoes, washing the car, anything, if only you can make believe none of this is happening to you. If only.
Life is not that generous, though. Not with grief and loss.
It’s been almost three months, on my son’s second birthday if one needs to be exact on when it happened, and no time at all as passed. I want to tell you it gets easier but I haven’t found that yet. It’s just not happening still. Not really.
If this were a manual, I can only tell you about the things you should do before it all happens. Get those conversations in. Talk about the weather and your feelings and leave nothing unsaid. I did. A shitload of things that I will never again say, except for in my make-believe world where my loss isn’t my loss.
My Dad died on my son’s second birthday. I don’t know of life without him because for all his flaws (and there were many), he was present. He was always present. I don’t know about the time it takes to not feel this raw pain, I just know I feel it still. I also know you keep moving, you keep living. You are coping every single day, whatever coping means.
I once watched a programme about people who’d gone through some devastating events, an earthquake I think it was. One of the people interviewed said your loss is like a hole in a quilt you’re still working on; you’ll never mend the hole, but you keep growing the quilt around it to the point where the hole feels much smaller.
I guess my quilt is not big enough for the hole my Dad left in my life. Not yet. I’m hoping for not yet.