It’s difficult to explain the loss of my dad to people who have never lost a parent. It’s an indescribable arrange of emotions that don’t make sense and contradict each other. It’s hard to pinpoint what I miss the most because I miss everything. My heart screams in pain at what I’ve lost, but it can’t figure out how to put those feelings into words. When tears stream down my face and someone asks why, the only words I can find are “I miss him.” Simple, yet, those words describe how I feel at the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death perfectly.
I’ve learn over the years that nothing anyone says to me will make me feel better. When someone tells me he’s always with me, I fight the urge to roll my eyes – it’s easy for other people to say that – they can still call their dads, I can’t. They can visit their dads, but unfortunately for me, Heaven doesn’t have visiting hours. They can tell their dads that they love him and hear those words spoken back to them; I can tell my dad I love him, but never again will I hear him speak those words.
I try to go into the week leading up to my dad’s death with no expectations of how I will react, yet, I get frustrated when the tears come. I’ve cried those same tears for six years. I know that no matter how many tears I cry, it won’t change anything. The tears allow my heart to say the words that I find myself unable to speak. When I can’t express why I’m so upset, the tears try to communicate it. Yet, my mind knows that no amount of tears or words can ever change what happened. Perhaps that’s what’s most difficult.
The tears flow for what I’ve lost – my dad. They flow for all the hugs I’ll never get, all the “I love yous” that were left unspoken, all the stories left untold. They also flow for the things I’ll never get to experience with my dad – he’ll never walk me down the aisle, I’ll never see the look in his eyes when I tell him he’s going to be a grandpa, I’ll never look across the hospital room and watch as my dad stares into the eyes of his grandchild. The tears flow for everything I miss as well as everything I lost and everything I’ll never get to experience with my dad.
On this anniversary of my dad’s death, I find myself still struggling with words. It’s the one time of the year when I find words to be the most difficult to find. The tears that escape my eyes, the sobs that escape my soul, and the heartache that fills me are what define the day.