I Miss Him

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. 

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What I Miss the Most

“What do you miss the most about him?”

With the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death fast approaching, I find myself wanting to talk about him. About how special he was to me. About how much losing him hurt. About all my memories of him. Losing him tore my heart apart. 

In the week leading up the anniversary of my dad’s death, I never know how I’m going to react. Sometimes I’m fine and can go about life like everything is okay. Sometimes I cry for a week leading up to the anniversary and when the day arrives, I’m fine. Sometimes I try to sleep the entire day away to block it from memory. I roll with it and have learned not to make plans or set expectations. 

I tell a couple people around me – the people most likely to notice if my attitude or mood suddenly changes. I don’t want them to worry about me, but I need them to understand if the bubbly person I try to be who cracks jokes suddenly goes into hiding and a little girl emerges who is trying to hold back the tears threatening to fall. 

This year, I told two co-workers. The ones who I see every day, the ones I’m always talking to, the ones who will notice if something isn’t right. One of them posed the question above to me – my initial response was that I miss everything and that I really miss his hugs.

I’ve kept thinking about it though. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that I miss more than the others. I truly miss everything. 

What I Miss the Most

I miss the way that my daddy would wrap his arms around me – the feeling of complete security, knowing that I was safe from the world. I miss the proud look in his eyes whenever I reached my goal and I miss the joy in his eyes whenever he was happy. I miss our talks in the garage and I miss sitting down at the table with him. I miss the daily text messages – the reminders “Love you. God Bless you. Have a great day!” and I’m ashamed that I ever once considered those reminders to be annoying. I miss taking time to spend with him and I miss how he always picked up the phone when I called. I miss the reassuring voice in the other end of the line. I miss the sound of his voice. I miss knowing that whatever happened, my dad always had my back. I miss the parent in my life and I miss knowing that he was okay with whatever decision I made. I miss my protector and my hero and my friend. I miss the feeling of never questioning if someone loved me because he showed me daily that he did. I miss him directing the church choir and I miss learning new music from him. I miss the look in his eyes as he stood there before the congregation and led the choir in a performance. I miss the happiness in his eyes and the concentration on his face and the achievement of standing up directing a choir where he wanted to be. I miss hearing stories about how he wanted to be a musician and about the record he made. I miss hearing him sing and I miss all the lessons he tried to teach me. I miss the sound of his voice when he talked about God and how he knew exactly where he stood with Him. I miss reading the Bible together and talking about how Revelations scared me as a child. I miss being told there was nothing to be scared of. I miss waking him up in the middle of the night when I was scared and I miss when he left for work at 4:30am and snuck into my bedroom to give me a kiss – oftentimes I was awake, although I never let him know. I miss everything. 

I just miss my dad. 

And it’s one of the hardest things to do – living life knowing that a piece of your heart was ripped away from you. Understanding that God has a plan and being grateful for where you are, yet longing to go back in time to the person you lost.

Usually the days go by and everything is fine. However, sometimes the days are long and hard. On those days I find myself leaning on those around me to help pick me up or offer up a comforting word or just listen to me. Those are the people I find myself hanging onto these days. The ones who will help see me through the happy times and the sad times and show me similar love to that my dad always did.