Today is the 10th anniversary of my dad’s death.
That was a bad day. I saw a bad car wreck and got a flat tire – all on the way home from work. I said to John, “I don’t think this day can get any worse.” And boy was I wrong.
That day started the long spiral of suck in my life. Not long after this happened, mom got sick and died and then our battle with infertility began. It was five years before I could dig my way out of the depression.
He had been in the hospital for a few days. I had just gotten back from vacation when he went into the hospital and couldn’t get any time off to go visit him. I had some vacation planned for the week after he passed away and I was going to go and spend as much of it as I could with him.
There are so many things that I regret about that time. I regret not just taking the time to go (although my boss made my life a living hell for taking bereavement leave – the asshole.) and I regret not taking his illness seriously. It never even occurred to me that he might not make it through it. But again, so much of my knowledge of his condition was second hand from people physically closer.
I’m glad that I told him that I loved him. I’m glad that I said I was sorry for being such a self-centered brat.
I miss him every single day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Not one.
I think that the grieving process never really stops. You get over the worst of it. If you didn’t, you’d end up curled up in a corner for the rest of your life. But you get up, you get dressed, and you go out and face a world that is diminished. You find yourself laughing. You find yourself forgetting the pain of the loss for a while. You may even be able to look back on how annoying that person may have been at times.
Hell, I think there are still some days that I go through all 5 stages of grieving in a single afternoon. Even now, I get angry that he worked so much. Even now, I get angry that he is not here to see my children.
But then, one of them will look into my eyes and I’ll see him looking at me through their eyes. And somehow, I know that even though he’s not here physically, that he’s here in spirit.