This time of year is especially hard for me, I find myself a little agitated and morose for seemingly no reason. And then I’m reminded that there is a big, blatant, gaping reason to feel down.
I lost my father on Father’s Day three years ago this coming week.
Then I feel the loss all over again.
The sadness that so much time has now passed since he’s been gone, that so many events have transpired and that time continues to march further and further away from him.
This year, like no other since his passing, has been filled with copious amounts of joy. From my own engagement, to my sister’s there has been much to celebrate. The day after I got engaged my mom and I went for a walk. With the sparkle of a wedding brand new on the horizon, we talked about the events of the night before and it being the first really good thing to happen since my dad had died. Then my mom said exactly what I was thinking, that the joyful stuff is still hard too. With all the good, there is an ever-present bit of sadness.
And this sadness rears its head all the time.
I was on the phone yesterday with the DJ I booked for our wedding and he was walking me through the chain of events for the reception. As I’m sure is part of his spiel, he warned against too many toasts before dinner and that in his experience dads tend to get especially emotional during their speeches. It was an innocent assumption, but one that took me aback. I found myself heart-wrenchingly and rather ineloquently having to say there wouldn’t be a father of the bride toast and it took all I had not to fall apart in front of the stranger on the other end.
It was just another reminder of something he should have been a part of. A joyous occasion that should have been his to experience and feel and live. He should have been allowed the chance to walk his daughters down the aisle and dance the father-daughter dance and be the life of the party and give the damn toast!
But life is full of should have beens isn’t it?
It’s times like these that I go through an abbreviated stages of grief. There is no denial or bargaining this time, what’s lost is lost. But there is anger and bitterness, depression, maybe a little feeling sorry for myself (like today) and then acceptance for the cards that have been dealt.
Then I go have myself a good cry and remember all the amazing, wonderful things about my Papa that no amount of time can ever erase.
I get into the car, find my favorite Gary Allan song, turn it up loud and I sing…
“Life ain’t always beautiful, tears will fall sometimes. Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.”
Celebrate the dads in your life this weekend, wherever they may be.
Enjoy and Exhale!