[Another update of a post at “Confessions of a Reluctant Blogger,” this time from March 2006. I’ll stop recycling soon, I promise.]:
Three years ago my father died unexpectedly.
Unexpectedly. Yeah, if ever there was a word that didn’t say it all. My grandmother had been sick since the holidays. I had been preparing myself for the fact that she was, after all, 87 and might not recover from what turned out to be cancer. Getting a call in the middle of the night that Dad had died while he and Mom were vacationing in Florida was as close to getting whacked on the side of the head with a two-by-four as I ever want to imagine.
It’s been a long three years, in some ways, and has flown by, as time has a habit of doing, in other ways. I have had bouts with what would probably be classified as depression. I have been angry, sad, scared, sometimes all at once. But I have also been grateful. Grateful for the all-too-little time that Dad and I got to spend enjoying each other’s company as adults. Grateful for the friendship and wisdom. Grateful for his example of perserverance in the face of life’s setbacks and challenges, and enjoying simple pleasures. Grateful for not having any “unfinished business.” Grateful for having the last thing I said to him be, “I love you.”
It’s now been almost four and a half years, and tomorrow would have been Dad’s sixty-sixth birthday. There are still the random events – a song, a place, a situation – that remind me of him, and how he is no longer here. Reading an early blog entry last night from Shelley at Cynical: A Life again confirmed for me that a loss is still a loss no matter how suddenly and unexpectedly it happens, or if it comes after a long illness or period of decline. We never “get over” the death of a loved one, we just learn to live with it.