It’s coming up on a year since we lost my father. Hands down the hardest year of my life.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it all. The two hardest things, the things that pull on my heart every single day, are just plain missing him and how hard change is. I know this is not headline news kind of stuff but it is when you’re going thru it. I feel like if I can figure this all out it will make things a little easier. It’s probably not true but it works for me.
Such simple words for such enormous feelings. For me, it is a physical knot in my stomach and my heart. Like a little piece of my heart is empty and hungry. And kinda of sore. When I think about it, the feeling doubles it’s size. I try to stop the memory but I’m torn. Memories of childhood, our adventures and laughing at our lives can be comforting but they sting too. The feeling of missing can quickly morph into just plain old pain. All this spins around inside my heart And I’m never sure when the wheel will land on a memory that just gets to me. Sometimes you have to stop it dead in its tracks. Not now. Other times I go with it. Feel the memories. Cry a little. Laugh a little. Just keep moving forward.
Missing someone seems like a very primal emotion. It must be a function down deep in our brains. I read this week about a dog in Italy that would not leave the coffin of his owner who was killed in the earthquake. You’ve probably seen those Facebook videos where a dog is reunited with it’s owner and the dog goes crazy with joy. So I guess even animals miss the ones they love.
I’ve had problems at work over the last few months and I so needed to talk them out with him. We always came a up a good plan for my problems. Missing someone is a very hard job.
I also think it has made me more vulnerable to missing everyone else in my life. When we were in Ireland, I missed my dog. I reached out to my BFF from high school. She lives about an hour away and we haven’t gotten together since daddy started really decline. I texted her last week and just said, I miss you. We need to have dinner. I miss my friend Kim and my cousin William. Both died way too young. Both added such love to my life.
All this missing has me feeling cranky and edgy. I guess I need to take a walk.
But wait, I didn’t talk about “change” yet.
Change is so freaking hard. Humans hate change. We will do a lot of stupid things to avoid it. My nephew graduated college. Great for him but I will miss our Center City dinner dates. I work less hours at the hospital but only due to my deteriorating RA. Coworkers move on. Better jobs but I miss them. We like to hear the same music over and over. We eat the same food at the holidays and stupidly resent any changes. We find comfort in things not changing. Have you ever felt comfort with someone just because something about them is familiar? They are Italian too? They are from the same small town? They remind you of someone you love? We are searching for the comfort that change takes away from us.
This year has been all change all the time. Every first holiday or season or family tradition without Dad is so hard. My health and job situation has changed and I hate it. Did things always change this fast and I just didn’t know it? I find myself searching for people and things that won’t change. Things I can hold onto. But life doesn’t work that way. It’s just a wild ride and the best we can do is to hold on tight and try to enjoy as much as we can. Wish me luck.