That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
- For Good, Wicked
- For Good, Wicked
As I sit here and write, a year has passed since I last saw my father. (and, on the date this is published, it is a year since he passed onto his next adventure) I actually consider this a lucky thing...many of us don't see our parents on a super frequent basis, and it could have been much longer between visits if not for the summertime & River. And I'm lucky that it was a really fun day -- some wine tasting, him being concerned about me & my friend D eating, game playing at the River, and him being concerned about me & D getting home. So typical of my dad...even though I am (allegedly) a grown up, he still worried constantly.
It's very hard to believe, still, that he's gone. My brain is still having a hard time wrapping around this fact. More than once I have gone to call him, and very recently said something aloud about having to ask my dad something. There's a fuzziness I can't explain, and a sadness I just can't shake. I don't know if I ever will; I think a little brightness will always be gone from my life.
That said, the days have indeed gotten easier. I never would have believed it -- not a day goes by without me thinking of him -- but it's true. Things start to feel a little more normal. I can actually smile with true happiness, and laugh with glee. I don't know that I will ever be the person I was, but I am getting closer to her.
The grieving process is a funny one. It is not linear, as the common lore will have you believe. You can be going on in your day, happy as a clam, then all of a sudden you are knocked on your ass by a smell, a song, or a random comment. You can be really angry at the world, and then in the next moment be laughing your butt off. You can feel empathy even through your own hurt, and joy through the pain. It is weird. I wish it was something I didn't know, but...there's nothing I can do about it now.
My father was scheduled to have a procedure the day after he passed away, first exploratory to see if there were any blockages in his heart, and, if found, to put in stents. Many have asked me if I feel this would have changed things, if I am mad that this procedure didn't happen earlier (it was scheduled for a few weeks). I find it a waste of time to think abut these things, and there is no sense in being angry. I truly believe things happen that are out of our control (which is REALLY had for a control freak like me).
What I'd rather think about is his last day. I know I spoke to him less than 12 hours before he passed -- I can't quite remember about what, I know part of it was about my mom's birthday present, part of it was about me coming to the hospital for his procedure, but not sure what else. My uncle said he was walking around all happy that day, "annoyingly" so...which makes me happy. I once wrote a paper in college about death (in Spanish), and wondered if, in some subconscious way, people realize it is their last day, and make peace with it. Not thoughtfully, but deep down, their psyche realizes it. I don't know, but I'd like to think this was the case, I'd like to think of his last moments as peaceful.
And that's the thought that has helped carry me through each day over this past year, and will continue to give me strength in the years to come as I continue on this new journey.