Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Tearful Goodbye

Yesterday marked one year since I'd seen my dad in person. I was on an extended Memorial Day vacation visiting my family in Denver. It was a great last trip to have with him. We walked the Bolder Boulder with my sister and relaxed by the pool with friends. Upon the completion of my trip my parents dropped me off at Denver International Airport and we began our extensive, tearful goodbye process. I was always afraid that each hug and kiss goodbye could be our last. My dad was born to be a dad and my mom was born to be a mom. Not only did they not get annoyed with my overzealous hugging, but they reveled in it. When we decided we'd gotten to the point of ridiculousness I gave two last hugs to each and walked inside. Only to stand just beyond the automatic doors waving until they were out of site. I don't regret anything about our last in-person goodbye, except that it was our last. Knowing this I would have unfeasibly hugged him forever.

While it hasn't been a year since his death yet, I seem to be marking each and every single anniversary I had with him as I go along. There are some people who can't bare the pain of thinking about their lost loved one more than they have to. I'm the opposite. I consider supressing my feelings an insult to his memory. This is a thought I have of my own grieving process and don't judge or think wrong of how other people cope. Within my family alone we are all over the coping spectrum. I just think of the painful tears I shed on a regular basis as the least I can suffer through to keep him alive in me.

Last night, while sobbing through The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" for the 100th time, I told my husband, "No matter how great my day is or how much fun I'm having in that moment, there's always an underlying, gutwrenching feeling that all is not right. Something is wrong. Something will always be wrong." And it's true. Something will always be missing from my life. I can't help it. I can never get to the point where I am worry free and fully relaxed. Sometimes I recognize what that feeling is. Sometimes it's so far in the back of my head that I don't know what it is that's bothering me, but I know that it's there.

I liken it to the average person by saying, "It's like when you know you're worried about something and you have to sit down and run through everything going on in your life to figure out what's gnawing at you."

Except that this gnawing feeling is permanent. At least so far.

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