It’s been a year since we said goodbye to my dad. A year ago today. I dreamed about him on Sunday.
He was only there for a second, but he was there, greeting someone with a smile on his face, introducing himself, hunched over slightly to mask his height.
And then I woke up and he was gone, just like he is in real life.
Loss like this is invisible. I know it happened. I know it’s missing. No one else can see it. No one else knows.
I don’t wear a sign that says “Pardon me for being a little more scattered than usual right now. Got lost in memories of my dead dad and forgot what I was doing…”
Losing someone you love automatically inducts you into this club you didn’t ask to join, and one from which you can’t unenroll. Once you’re in, you’re in for life. Or until you die yourself, I guess, and then everyone who loves you gets to join. Yay?
There have been times over the past year where I’ve gone days without thinking about it. I’ve been swept up in the daily grind of life and because I didn’t live at home and saw him infrequently nothing felt different.
But then there are moments where I sense the loss more profoundly, and they’re always little moments. Holidays have been easy because I can steel myself against them. The hard moments are the small moments that sneak in when you’re not looking.
I’ve closed my eyes and seen the inside of his hospital room in my mind, where we were all standing and sitting, the sounds and the lights. Or I’ve heard a song or smelled a smell or remembered a funny story. And then I remember that he’s not here anymore.
That’s when I miss my dad.
I’ve been dreading today a little bit, not because of the sadness we faced a year ago, but because I didn’t know what to expect from today. What I should’ve expected is that it would feel like any other day, but totally different at the same time.
The fact that it’s largely been more business as usual has only compounded my feelings.
Everything else is the same except me. I’m different. He will forever be the father in my memories.
I went looking for pictures of the two of us to reminisce today. I can’t find them. Hard copies are packed away and digitals are saved on an old hard drive somwhere.
So right now all I have is the dream from Sunday.
I miss him. Every day. Even on the days I don’t think about it. But especially on the days I do.