Surviving the Death of My Father

Four weeks ago today I was awoken to the news of the death of my father.

Surviving the death of your parents is something we will all have to go through – or rather should go through, because it is the natural order of things, meaning no parent should ever have to survive the death of a child, though many do. Too many do.

But that doesn’t mean it makes it easy when your dad dies. It certainly doesn’t seem natural. Or as it “should” be. It feels like shit.

Some days I feel nothing, and by that I don’t mean that I feel numb. I feel normal, like any other day. Like a day with an alive father. And then I’ll remember that my dad has died and I still feel normal/nothing and it will occur to me that as much as I cry at sappy commercials and sad books and movies, and feel so heartbroken about the injustices others suffer, that perhaps in my own life I am an unfeeling monster who can’t even bother to take the time to be the least little bit sad that I will never see my dad again or hug him again or have him hold the door open for when when I get into his car or hear him complain about Donald Trump or how he can’t get good Mexican food in Texas and can only listen to his voice on the recordings that I have on my phone that I play over and over and over again, or that I don’t.

And then something will happen – a memory or a Fleetwood Mac song or an old man dying in a movie or waking up four weeks later not to the news that your father has died, but to the sounds of a typical Sunday – the birds chirping, the ceiling fan over your head, your husband getting up before you to walk the dog, and you will feel sadness and dread and a hole inside your heart so big that you wish that you could go back to being a monster and feel nothing again.

3 thoughts on “Surviving the Death of My Father

  1. Ugh yes. I felt terrible when my dad died. And still, I wondered if it was bad enough. I regretted so many little things that I now couldn’t go back and redo. And I’d always much rather hear “I’m sorry…” than “I’m sorry for your loss.” Because the person saying that doesn’t know what my loss feels like or what I’ve lost in my heart. And it never sounds real, only like something you’re supposed to say. But when someone said “I’m sorry…” then I know they are there with me no matter where there is. So, my friend,….I am so sorry…..

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Charlene. My heart aches for you. I never like to bring up people dying to their loved ones because, while I want to let them know I care, I don’t want to make them cry. It gives me anxiety and I shut down. I’m sorry I never said anything in person. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I love you. xo

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