June 21, 2010 was the day my father left this world. Father’s Day has come and gone, and of course the day is a difficult one. But I find myself reflecting and remembering my Dad daily….not just on Father’s Day.
How does one get past the feeling of sadness that comes with such profound loss? The short answer is that you don’t. You just learn to cope.
Over the past 9 years, I’ve missed out on many milestones that fathers and daughters traditionally share. For instance, my wedding day. Dad passed away the same year I was engaged, so he sadly couldn’t walk me down the aisle. He couldn’t cry with me through the father-daughter dance. He was a crier and I am too. I’m sad that he wasn’t here to witness the birth of any of his grandchildren. I’m sad there can be no more daily phone calls just to check in or share happy news. There are so many things I’ll never get to experience.
Now, as I raise my daughters, I strive to keep his memory alive. I know I was a Daddy’s girl, and I am grateful my girls’ relationships are similar with my husband. When I make up silly songs for them, I recall Dad doing the same. I try to incorporate the holiday traditions that he would have wanted to continue. Family vacations and the memories made will always be important for me to show my girls because Dad instilled that in me. The list goes on and on, and there is not a day that goes by without thinking of him.
I quote Jennifer Williamson, and agree, “No matter how old we are, we still need our dads, and wonder how we’ll get by without them.” Somehow, you learn to cope.
As the years continue to pass, I will reflect on all of the wonderful memories. I will do my best to answer the questions that come from my oldest (6 year old) daughter regarding where he is. I will keep on moving forward through life, while never forgetting. Wishing I could have just one more phone call or hug. There will always be a component of grief that just doesn’t go away.
Dad, you are forever in my heart.