Thursday, October 8, 2009

"just" missing him

I just miss my dad. I couldn’t say it outloud. I was crying too hard and the words were so inadequate. They stuck in my throat and seemed almost silly because they didn’t come close to describing the magnitude of my grief. Dan needed to know what was happening, why I was so upset. I very rarely cry, and then it’s usually only a few tears. For some reason, this time I was sobbing in that almost hyperventilating, couldn’t breath through my nose, unable to speak kind of way. “Is it just everything? Or did something happen?” No, there was no new bad news, no sudden catastrophe he needed to know about, no new development with the kids. “Just” the same old thing. I “just” miss my dad. Still. Almost three years later. The hardest part about someone dying is not the day or the week or the month that it happens. That time was surreal, dreamlike. There were things to take care of, people here to support us, flowers and meals and phone calls. The hardest part is the "rest of your life" part-- all the things they are absent for. The happy times when you want to share with them the news of lost teeth, scored goals, and being published in a textbook. And the difficult times when you are scared about the what the rheumatologist or the child psychiatrist is going to say. He would know just what to say to ease the fear. Even if he didn’t say anything, he would support me with a squeeze of my hand, a nod, his unwavering faith in me to handle any challenge that came my way. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He is supposed to *be here*. I finally whispered between the sobs: I just miss my dad. And that’s such an understatement. It’s so deep and it’s *always* there.