Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's Been Seventeen Years

Seventeen years ago today my Dad died. He's officially been gone longer then I knew him. My Dad's death doesn't really make me sad anymore. It's been incorporated into my life. It's become my normal. I read once that grief is like a window, sometimes you get it almost shut and other times it flies open. That window flies open less but it's still never all the way closed.

I think one of the hardest things about losing someone is that life goes on. That life moves forward without this person who was so significant to you. After he first died I used to think how can this be? How can people be outside laughing and going about life like it's the same? The contradiction nearly broke me those first raw weeks.

I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my relationship with my father the past few years. The good, the bad, the impact, his death and while there's been moments I just wanted to put it in a box and move on I am glad I didn't. Exploring what he meant to me, and how he affected and shaped me lets him live on. He was complicated and flawed like just about everyone, but he let me see some of the best people are. That they deserve your time and patience, that their love can be rewarding and I guess most importantly seventeen years later post his absence enduring.

I don't really remember his voice anymore. If I close my eyes and concentrate real hard I can bring up a vague idea of it. I can hear it in memories. These losses used to crush me and I would cling to them harder. If I forget then he's really gone. Regardless of if I remember he is gone. That's what you have to live with. His voice doesn't really matter. The ways I see him in my life do, the fact that he did exist does.

I'm a lot like my Dad. I'm ambitious, hard working, practical and utterly ridiculous all at the same time. I'm also compulsive, have a tendency towards addiction, and self destructive. How much is him and how much is me who knows. I used to feel this pressure to be more like him to honor him but it doesn't really work. You do have to move on and live for you. I carry him in my heart and that's really the only he can stay forever.

I also inherited his trait of never looking directly into a camera. 


  1. What a beautiful post! I teared up as I read it.

    1. Thank you! Very sweet of you. I appreciate it.