This must be how grief feels. They come in waves. Ebbs like the tides. Just this palpable emptiness.
I am an only child. My family isn’t perfect. We also had entanglements, dark moments. Because vice tried to gnaw into us.
It’s been over a year since he was gone. Only now do the the tears start to roll. Only now do sobbing fits become appropriate. I miss my father. And he is not here.
I find it interesting how the stages of grief come to me all in one instant. Denial, rage, bargaining, depression, acceptance. All in one instant. Overwhelmed by the emotions taking over me, I turn to this fetal-like ball on my bed beside the wall. Will this pass someday? Do I want it to pass?
You see I was my father’s daughter. The apple of his eye. His weak link, or so I would like to think. That whenever he was about to fall into an abyss of darkness, my presence, my existence helped bring him back to the light, even if temporarily.
He was a good man with a dark vice. So, still a good man. And the suffering he had to endure before he passed must have been redemptive, to rescue a good man from his darkness so he can forever live in the light.
There are days I am foolish and tell myself that I would take his darkness over my emptiness. Then, in a fleeting moment I realize that I will take his peace over his darkness. And this emptiness, the feeling that he really is no longer around, is an assurance of his peace.
So, I must learn to live with this, not simply to move on from it. There is no moving on from the death of someone you loved. To live with it, as though he is watching me get my bearings back. To live with it, and be like who I was when he was proud of me, so I can be proud of myself too.
So, muffled by a pillow I sob a little more. Empty out the tears I could cry today. Later, I will brush my hair, wash my face, attempt to face the world with a smile.
I will and I have to.
Because I am my mother’s daughter too.