First Everything Without Dad

My Dad passed away in January of this year.  To say “it was difficult to deal with” would be to assume that I was done with it–I tried to be strong for my siblings and my Mom (I think I failed), and I gave a little speech at his funeral (which went over well)–but lately, things have been getting to me.  I can’t speak for those of you who have lost both parents, or siblings, or your closest friends, but for me at the age of 29, my Dad’s passing has taught me a lot as the time has gone on.

I am sure you’ve been steeled against all of the pitfalls of losing a parent/sibling/friend, and you’ve held it in and sucked it up as long as you can.  For me,  I gave everyone huge hugs at the wake, sucked it up at the funeral, accepted peoples’ condolences as honestly as I could…and got home, happy to have it all over with.  Then, three months later, while I was watching the end of “Marley & Me,” I lost my  mind on the shoulder of my best friend (my wife, in this case).  I have developed the belief that the amount of emotions inside of you is finite–it’s not up to you how (or at what time) they come out.  If your Dad passes away and you “suck it up” for all of that time, some time later, you will have it come out in a flood at the end of a completely innocuous movie about a dog, or a chick-flick break-up, or a country-music video, or whatever else happens to trip your trigger.  Whatever the release is, at some point, it will find its way out.

He won’t meet my first-born child, or my first dog…I count my blessings he met my (now) wife.  There are so many things he won’t see, which is frustrating for me because I spent so many years of my youth not caring enough to do things that would make him proud (I felt I couldn’t).  My, how that time goes by…

I make sure to compliment my wife every time she makes or does something for me; we go out and throw the baseball around, and I even make or set up all of the things in the house that need a handyman.  I tell you what, I do that for her and I am using my own learned skills, but I am still channelling my Dad.  He was “the man” at all of those things.

If there’s one thing you can do, it’s to take another look at your relationship with your parents and siblings.  Everyone has their own definition, of course, but even if they are the people you have the absolute least in common with, trust me, you will miss them when you can no longer have access to them.

I know that Fathers’ Day is this June 19th, and the thing is, even after you become a father yourself, you will still remember your own Dad.  If he’s still alive, give thanks for it.  If not, know that he is probably watching over you.  Either way, the memories he’s given you just can’t be replaced–so enjoy the good ones while you can.

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    • Robin
    • May 28th, 2011

    Jeff,
    While I have never lost a parent, I was very close to my grandma before she passed away. It has been 5 years now, and some things bring me right back to those fond memories and a tear comes to my eyes. You never forget those people that touuched your life. Every now and then, when I need her the most, I think about what she would tell me and the advice she would give. When things happen that remind me of her, I grin and think “thanks grandma for thinking of me today” because, even though she has been gone, she still is very much a part of my life. Those emotions come out slowly and its ok. That’s why God gave you a wonderful wife and friends to help you through it. Hang in there, man. We all love you.

  1. My meltdown (after my sister) came in July, 5 months after her passing……and it was ugly.

    • I heard a quote once that went, “Spilling your guts is just exactly as appealing as it sounds.” Truer words were never spoken, it seems.

  1. November 25th, 2012

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