With fathers day being today, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my dad. I’m still in disbelief that almost two whole years have passed since the last time I saw him, hugged him, and said goodbye. While the passing of time does offer acceptance, time can trigger painful remembrance of the season and the scar he left behind. As I come up on two years, I find myself still very much in the aftermath of his death, still sorting through confused feelings, confronting issues of depth, and undergoing frequent transformation. I want more than just an acceptance of his departure, I want to know peace and I wonder if I ever will.
When a loved one leaves your life so unexpectedly, your thoughts begin to fill in a future time line you will never live. Never knowing what it’s like to walk down the aisle with him at my wedding, never being able to see the look on his face when he meets my children for the first time. I grieve mostly for the conversations I will never have with him, conversations that could have healed heartbreaks of my childhood. It all seems terribly unfinished, a story without an ending, closure I may never have.
I’m blessed to have a bachelors in psychology and the ability to express and understand myself through writing. It’s nice to have an understanding of why I do the things I do, it’s calming to know why I am the way I am. I wonder though, is knowing, is it just damage control? will I always be this way? I’m aware of it, but can I change it?
It’s goes way beyond just missing him. I miss who I was. To finally be happy and understand circumstances, only for them to change without warning. I miss what I expected. I miss the reality I knew my entire life. It turns out, it’s not really about getting over it and feeling better, it’s about simply going with the flow of changes I’ve experienced since my father left my life.
For the first year after he died I put up walls around my heart. There was no way I would let anyone get close to me. There was way too much I needed to work on and confront within myself, I simply had no time and energy to give to anyone else. This second year I learned to let down my guard and how to fall in love again. But I can’t deny the undeniable parallels between the man I fell in love with and my father.
My father was an alcoholic. I spent most of my childhood wishing he would change, wanting so much for him to choose me over his need to drink. After years of anger I came to accept my father for who he was and who he would never be. I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with him, grateful I learned to forgive. My dad was a great friend, my number one fan, and he loved me very much. He loved me the only way he knew how, the only way his disease would allow.