Dear Dad,

Today is your birthday. It’s funny how often we both forgot each other’s birthdays when you were alive but now your birthday lingers in my periphery for weeks in advance, like a coming storm of grief. This year has been worse than others. I have been feeling a surge of grief since the first of December.

I had some realizations during this grief surge.

  1. I’m never going to be baseline happy. Part of this is definitely just a symptom of my mental health and I’m learning to be okay with that. But part of it is because there’s a part of me that is always missing you. Even 11 years after you’ve gone, that grief is just right below the surface and while I’m not sobbing in my car constantly, it’s this pervasive loss that will just always thread through everything. Even the happy moments because I’m sad I can’t share them with you.
  2. There is just a hole in my heart that will never be filled by anything or anyone else. I think I had convinced myself for years that I just needed to adjust how I used my friends/loved ones to help fill in the gap you left behind. Because I would call you when I was sad, and even if I didn’t tell you that I was sad, something about talking to you always made me feel better. And so I thought I could just figure out ways to find that in other friends and family but it recently hit me: It worked that way because it was YOU. No one can be you for me. No one can be my Dad and no one can be the specific type of good listener that you were. So I’ll always be missing something that no one else can give me.

These two things have been a little enlightening and a lot depressing. I have found myself talking to you in my car (when I’m alone) a lot during this pandemic, just trying to help ease that loss a little bit which probably makes me look crazy but – you know what? THIS IS A CRAZY TIME AND I SELF CARE HOWEVER I FIND HELPS.

There are just so many crazy things going on in my life that I would really love your counsel on. And I’ll be honest, some years I’m thinking I really wish my Dad were alive so I could share all of the wonderful things in my life and my family with him. But this year is entirely different. This year I’m just thinking I wish my Dad were alive so I could feel like everything would be okay because the endless worry is eating at my soul.

I just miss you so much. Maybe more when times are hard, but honestly? It’s just always.

3 thoughts on “Dear Dad,”

  1. Oof.

    Right in the feels. Today it became clear that my dad doesn’t have much longer to go. When I got here on the 2nd seems like a whole lifetime or two ago. He’s gotten worse and worse since Friday.

    Sending you all of my love.

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