Dad passed away last night. He’d been fighting cancer for six years.
Life is going to change a lot even if I think it won’t. He was a complicated man who never truly recovered from the loss of his wife. When mom died twenty-one years ago, we lost our family despite our best efforts to keep it. He loved his family because we were everything he never had as a child.
We were a 1970s family. Dad was a lineman. Mom raised us kids. We never lacked anything because of how hard they worked. I learned by watching, even if it took me years to understand what real commitment to a family means.
I’ve thought, over the years, about the good things that are part of me. He taught me how to be good to animals, how to interact with the natural world, and about loyalty and the value of work.
Losing him means being honest about a lot of difficult things. My own age. Our relationship. Wanting a family that is gone. Wishing for a life that can’t come back. Thinking of him as a person, and not a personification. Being thankful, even when I miss him. With each passing hour today, there’s a lot more hurt. I miss him. I miss my family. I don’t know how to explain wanting something that’s gone for good.
You can think you’re ready for things, but you’re not ready. You’re never ready. I miss him today, but I think I’ll miss a lot more things tomorrow, and beyond.