It was five years ago today that my body started telling me something was really, really wrong.
It’s strange, looking back, how you can just know that there is something life-altering that is about it happen. All day long, I was feeling light headed. My heart was racing. I was sweating. I tried to go for a run, which normally calms me, yet my mind was a million miles away. Sleep evaded me. And then at 1 a.m., I got the call and it all made sense. My dad was dead.
These memories continue to haunt me every summer. I pour over the last days I spent with him. I think about how I felt that day. And I’m stuck in this cycle of remembering how awful I felt in the days, weeks and months after he was gone.
I had a dear friend who lost her father this week and I was filled with heartache for her as I remembered exactly what I was going through this time five years ago. Deciding upon burial dates. Picking out a casket. Sitting in a haze through his visitation and funeral. Writing thank you cards. Making decisions I felt like I was too young to be making since I hadn’t even hit the age of 30.
I remember hating sunny days, wondering how life could go on around me. How people could be celebrating birthdays. Still thinking about vacations. Sleeping and eating. Yet, life does go on. Even when it hurts.
I won’t say it gets easier with time, because it doesn’t. It does start to hurt a little less. And then something happens like my friend experienced this week and it brings the hurt back again.
My mom and brother called to talk about it today, mostly because Mom wants to make sure I’m doing okay, and my brother was feeling particularly melancholy. I tried not to think about it, but that’s what my family does—we talk about it. What I do know is I would have given anything to be at home today to give them all hugs and tell them how much I love them in person.
I miss you, Dad.