no other way to put it.
Today, I feel sad.
No, I take that back.
I am sad.
My sadness can be defined in so many ways. Sometimes it is the kind of sad where the floodgates open and my eyes are raw from the flow of it all. Other times (and most often), it is the kind of sad that is like a dull ache that permeates into every muscle and sits there, throbbing, reminding me it won’t go away.
It won’t go away, not anytime soon.
I miss my dad.
Today, I miss my dad, like the “your so close to me and yet so far away, SHIT, you’re really gone” kind of missing him. You know, the confusing kind. There are moments when I swear he is right next to me and yet, the realization that I will never hear him say, “okay, my dear” on the telephone as we are saying goodbye, THAT feels so far away.
Today’s sad feels like the kind that makes me sick to my stomach.
That kind of sad.
If it is one thing I have learned these past five months is that nothing about this death thing has been clear cut and dry. I find myself dumbfounded by my emotions. They spring up like that ridiculous Jack in the box, when I expect it to happen at one turn of the crank but it comes at an entirely different time. I hate that toy. I had expected Christmas would have been unbearable but we made it through. New Years Eve, on the other hand, left me empty and sad. Throwing the old calendar away and hanging the new one was like losing him all over again, another kind of saying goodbye. It felt like I was leaving my dad behind and moving on without him.
I miss him so much.
Since August, I have noticed that I measure time differently, life before my father’s death and life after. I hate this. I don’t want to look at time this way. Is it crueler now, when his death is fairly recent and new that only months ago he was alive and so real to me? Touchable. Laughing. Loud. Real. Will I wish, two years from now, that I was back at this moment knowing that his living self was so much closer to me? I worry, daily, that I will forget him. In every moment of every day, I try to fill my head with memories at any given second, cramming them into my brain and holding on tightly. I feel like the wind is going to come and blow off all the leaves clinging to this beautiful tree and that I will be left empty, void and having forgotten it all. Sometimes, my head hurts more than my heart from this holding on and I am terrified I will forget him.
Wednesday is my birthday. Every year, since I can remember, my dad has given me a single rose. He did it for all of his girls. A small token that carried the weight of gold. Whether he was there to give it to me himself or recruit my friends, that rose always made its way to me. My birthday would not be complete until it arrived with a note signed. “from me.” He knew that I knew, that I would always know.
I would always know and there is no way I could ever forget.
Papa, I really miss you.