There have been many times since I’ve become a Mom that I’ve surprisingly felt very young. Sometimes it’s when I’m getting sucked into the latest Teen Fiction. Other times it’s when I feel insecure with my appearance. I find myself saying, “Wow. Hard to believe I’m an adult. Much less – a Mom.” But these are always very brief and very superficial feelings. Nothing but a glimpse of a younger me.
But since Dad died, I’ve discovered a new range to that feeling. I’ll find myself talking to someone who lost a parent at a much younger age and I’ll think, “Wow. They had it much harder than I do.” I mean, I’m 33. I’ve been away from home for 15 years. While I loved my father dearly – he was not part of my every day life – making the grief easier. I’m an adult. The sadness is there (of course) but the coping is different as an adult. Right? I mean – I’m 33. It’s much easier, right?
Except…there are so many moments as I think about how much I miss him that I feel like a child. A tiny little girl left alone in her home without her Daddy. At least once a day (sometimes more) I feel this profound sadness that overtakes me in the moment. I keep myself distracted as much as possible, but at least once a day it sneaks in and I ache and hurt like I’m a child. I feel alone and scared. I want to wrap my arms around my knees and rock back and forth sobbing into the t-shirt I’ve wrapped over my legs. I just want to wail at the top of my lungs, “I WANT MY DADDY.” Because I do. I miss him so bad and it hurts still so much that I feel no more an adult than my daughter does. It is at these moments that I feel lost. And I just want to beg the universe to give my Daddy back to me. Back to the little girl left alone without her shelter and her protection. Alone in the dark with the boogeyman and the monster under her bed.
But then I shake it off. Because I am 33. And I have my own children to protect and care for. I dry my eyes and distract myself. Again. And hope that maybe the next time the wave of grief hits it will be easier. Because everyone tells me it will. Eventually.