This past weekend, we had dinner with some of my husband’s family. As the night’s conversation went on, we got on the subject of grief. Each of the four of us had lost one of our parents: I lost my father almost five years ago, my husband lost his mother at the age of six, and our hosts also lost a father and mother.
It was an emotional conversation for all of us, as each of us know that the grief from our loss never goes away.
There are many days that I do not want to think of my father, and it pains me to admit it. The reason being, thinking of my dad ultimately leads to sadness at the fact that he isn’t here anymore. But despite my efforts, thoughts of my father always fill my mind.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my father. Just recently, I had the sudden urge to pick up my phone and give him a call to tell him about what his youngest granddaughter is getting into. Despair soon came over me, realizing that I won’t ever have a chance to tell him about my children. He would have loved hearing about all the new things my daughters are doing. In particular, he would have enjoyed that the girls are taking swim classes. I know he would have taken credit for how talented my oldest daughter is in swimming. Being a natural in every sport he played in his life, any athletic achievement my brothers and I made growing up, were because of him.
So I imagine how the conversation would go in my head. Telling him how well Isabella is doing in swimming, him telling me that she gets it from our side of the family. And I would chuckle, and let him take pride in his granddaughter’s athletic abilities.
I remember a time when I foolishly thought I had my grief under control, that I was finally getting better. But then I gave birth to my youngest daughter, and I was overcome with sorrow. I agonized over the thought of my baby never meeting her Granpappy. Pained, because the only memories she will have of him are the stories I tell her. It took me a long while to deal with this anguish. It is a feeling I still battle with daily.
I long to have one more conversation with him, to make him laugh like I used to. I want to give him a big hug and tell him how much I love him. Wherever my dad is now, I hope he knows just how much I miss him. My heart breaks a little more every day that he isn’t with me.
This April will be five years since my father passed away. Some days are easier than others. There will be times I hear a song my dad used to listen too, or I suddenly smell his cologne, and I break down crying. Sometimes I’ll hear the same song, and smile fondly at the thought of my father, sitting in our living room, enjoying the music, looking over at me with his smile. I like to remember him that way, before he got sick, before he left me forever. When I dream of him, he is his old, healthy self. I want to always remember him that way.