It has been 364 days since my father died.
364 days is a long time, and it has been a busy year – a year of loss and healing and working and (re)building. It has been a good year. In some ways, these last 364 days have been good because of what happened on that 365th day.
Does that sound odd? I suppose it does.
It seems to me that it’s not all that odd, when you think about it. When you are there, holding someone you love, helping them through their final days and witnessing them leave the earth, you start to get a bit of perspective. Death is sometimes something we pretend doesn’t happen, or maybe it’s something we fixate on, with fear.
But as sure as taxes, we’re all going to die someday, sooner or later. I do not know when my time is up, and I absolutely hope it’s not any time soon. I’m not going to waste my time being afraid of that, or of much else for that matter. If the last 364 days have taught me anything it’s that we need to just continue on – loving, and creating, and accepting.
Loss is hard, and I would very much like to have him back here, bitching about how the Beloved Patriots didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. We miss him, and mourn his death. Some days it comes back to me, fresh, because I realize anew the finality of it all. He didn’t have an 80th birthday, and this new year is the first one since 1932 that he wasn’t on the planet. I have only once (thank goodness) unthinkingly grabbed the phone and with the idea to call him.
I’m grateful I knew him, and grateful that I was a part of him. In the past 364 days many people have told me just how much of an impact he made on their lives, and that’s very powerful. I am left thinking of my relationships with the family I have left, and hope that they know how very special they are to me, and that we are all in some way connected to one another through him. That’s a big deal, and nice to think about. We all leave a legacy, you know?
So yes, I miss him and wish he were here. But I have no plans to have a little cry tomorrow, or even to commemorate it with much more than a nod to that 365th day’s passing. I’m just going to hug people I love, and be grateful for all that these past 364 days have taught me.