Dad, Grief

Dear Dad,

I'm certain you would have stolen this off my fridge to hang in your office at work.
I’m certain you would have stolen this off my fridge to hang in your office at work.

I’ve been really tired for over a week now, and that makes me super-emotional and weepy. Sad things are happening all over the place, which doesn’t help at all because I tend to feel what the world around me feels. So, my choice of sad topics predominant in my life are:

1) Missing You
2) My baby going off to college next year

I’ve decided to focus on missing you, Dad. Because I’m still in denial about E leaving me.

I spent some time in December with your new grandson. I so wish you could have met him. And of course – C is as amazing of a Dad as we knew he’d be. He’s already putting you and I both to shame as parents. But we expected that, didn’t we?

I wish you could have met his wife. She’s one of those type of people we always talked about admiring so much. You could put her in a room with 10 strangers from 10 different walks of life, and after 30 minutes they would all leave with smiles on their faces from having found a new life-long BFF.

E is about to open his first non-school play in which he has a lead role. When you died, he hadn’t even started performing yet, something that always makes me sad. You would be so impressed with him. His face is on posters around town now, which I find so hysterical. Watching him perform blows my mind because he’s so laid-back about it. He doesn’t seem to have any of the Speaking In Public fears that you and I had.

I have been sticking with running now for almost two years. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been that long because I’ve made so many huge achievements in that time. 2 marathons, 2 50Ks, and so many other races I don’t even keep track anymore. But Saturday? Is a new first: A 12-Hour Run. I start at 6am and I don’t stop until 6pm. It’s 1-mile loops at a state park and my goal is to hit 40. Anything more will be cake. I know you’d think this was crazy because you thought C’s Ironman in 2005 was crazy. You respected these bizarro amibtions of ours, but never pretended to understand them.

Donnie is coaching a triathlon class now. He’s been competing for 3+ years, I guess, and he’s getting faster and more fit every day that passes. He did his first official sub-20 minute 5K a couple of weeks ago. I thought I was going to cry, I was so proud. I remember when you did that 5K with us in 2006 and you beat us both at about 25 minutes! We were both adequately ashamed of that.

I’m tired and weepy and I just miss you so much. I know many people have faith that allows them to believe their loved ones still watch over them, and I sometimes get violently jealous of that. The finality of death for the faithless is a bit depressing at times.

So I carry your memory and tell your stories. I keep you alive by building a love for space and sciene in my children (there are SO MANY YouTube channels that you would LOVE), or memories of hikes in the woods. I told Wes on his first hike that you would have been so proud to see how much he loved it, since I tended to be a whiny brat at that age. We play with the weirdo gadgets you left behind and look at your collection of dirt. We bundle up in the winter and I tell stories of us fighting over the coil heater in our home.

And I miss you every day. But no more than when I’m tired and needing a pick-me-up phone call to you.

I love you, Dad.

11 thoughts on “Dear Dad,”

  1. ” I know many people have faith that allows them to believe their loved ones still watch over them, and I sometimes get violently jealous of that. The finality of death for the faithless is a bit depressing at times.”

    That’s exactly — EXACTLY — how I feel. I keep the memory of my mom alive by thinking about what she’d say or do or think about 50 times a day, but wow, do I wish I could believe that she’s watching over me right now.

  2. “So I carry your memory and tell your stories.”

    I’ve been missing my dad enormously lately, too; and that sentence right there is something my dad told me: “I won’t have gone anywhere if you still talk and think about me, pretty face.”

    This was beautiful to read, and is making me think that perhaps, writing an open letter to my dad might help me too.

    So thank you. And also, importantly, many hugs.

  3. Sending you a gigantic virtual hug from the other side of town. Your paragraph about missing your dad just made me cry. I wish I could just *give* you my faith to take some of that sadness away. My dad died a little over 20 years ago, when Emily was only 10 months old. I wept so much more for her than I did for myself. A few years later, one of my older brothers was killed in a car accident (Noah was 11 months old at the time). I think I am having a harder time dealing with that loss than with my dad’s. Even faith doesn’t completely take away the pain of missing them and the impact they would have on the lives of the rest of my family.

    Hang in there… the fact that you can voice these feelings is HUGE.

  4. Many hugs to you friend. This was beautifully written. Your dad would be so freaking proud of all of you.

  5. Sweetest Kim! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Those are such kind words. I love that you think that way about me. It’s fitting that I’m writing this while nursing Jack, being that every time I nurse him I think of you. I should probably explain…you always said you enjoyed those pure moments of happiness as you nursed you babies. I love that! Thinking of you reminds me to enjoy these moments that are too quickly gone. Love you bunches and can’t wait to see you in a few months. I’m already planning what we’ll need to pack (mostly cause I’m just so dang excited to come visit!!)

  6. Me too! Just what I came to comment on.

    After my cousin died in an accident, I remember being at his funeral and the minister was talking about how happy he was now, in heaven, and I was thinking, Bullshit. He loved his wife and his kids so much, no way he was happier without them. But his grandmother, near me, was nodding, and saying, Oh yes, and how I envied her that belief.

  7. My Dad died three weeks ago. I have always liked how you still talk to your Dad on here and so I try to talk to my Dad every day even if it is just a “Good morning, Dad!”

    I heard this quote the other day and I wrote it on our white board in the kitchen, “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories.”

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