By Lori Grant
I want to share, this came up last week on Father’s day, but feeling very scared to actually put it to words and post it.
So here is the thing, my Dad died 32 years ago today. Father’s day use to be awful for me, now not so much. This past Fathers day, every time I saw a Facebook post about how much someone misses their Dad and how they miss him every day (for those Dads have passed) I was annoyed, like please really. Not for the people who lost their Dad in the last few years, but a long time ago. Notice, I wanted to make them wrong and not own my own feelings about this.
Then I started thinking I must be some horrible person that I don’t miss my Dad. I mean I loved my Dad, we were very close, I was his little girl…even when I was 20, when he died.
But I can’t help but wonder, “ really you miss him every day?” How horrible am I as a daughter, as a person, that I don’t actually miss my Dad anymore. I mean I live my life daily, I know that I am my father’s daughter in so many ways but miss him, no, I don’t. I talk to him when I want; I know his spirit is always available to me. When he died I lived at home with him, my Mom, an older brother and my younger brothers. My life changed drastically after he passed, as did I. I missed him terribly back then, daily, minute by minute, it is all I focused on for so long, the pain, the emotion of it was unbearable and I would sob and sob. There was no such thing as an appropriate time to cry, I just did whenever I couldn’t maintain any longer. In the car, at work, on the subway, where ever I was at that moment. I actually thought I would never feel good again, I thought I would never get over it.
But now 30+ years later, I don’t miss him. And with all the Father’s day posts, the emotions came up again…I started thinking there is something wrong with me, I don’t feel “enough” or like other people say they feel. I judge myself as being harsh, unfeeling, and insensitive. I also know my Dad would find this hysterical, me, not caring enough, or being insensitive. He used to tease me about how easily I would cry…at commercials, tv shows, movies, and books. Yet I compare myself to others and come up short in the feeling department.
I am working through the comparisons and trying not to assume that the others are lying about how they miss their Dad every day. I am quite sure that I would not be able to function if I didn’t let go of his death, like I didn’t function in the days and weeks after his death. Slowly I began to heal, I began to accept his death and to live as he taught me, with love, laughter, fun and joy. He was an amazing role model on many levels (some not so good levels too). So I don’t miss my Dad daily, because I live the way he taught me and one of those was to let go and move on when life doesn’t give us what we want.
To my Dad, I show him daily that he impacted my life in an amazing and uplifting way, I laugh with abandon, I play with a passion and I love with all my heart. This is why I don’t miss my Dad daily, he lives in all that I do, in every moment.
Thank you for letting me work through this here; with my heart, feelings and thoughts mingling together, creating me. Confused, vulnerable, and willing to risk being thought of as cold and/or unfeeling, that is what I give you. Emotional transparency. It can be scary, downright frightening but it is rewarding to be true to myself.
I hold space to honor and allow for your fears. Thank you.