Dad, without you there’d be a lot of squeeky, broken, unlit, cracked and chipped, overgrown, empty, and busted things in my life.
People often undervalue a relationship with their father. Aside from this person being one of the two who gave you life, Dads represent something strong on psychological level. And everyone has probably heard the term “daddy issues” at some point or another. Unstable women who “acted out” due to a deep-rooted relationship issue (if any) with their padre. I always thought it was comical, (a big thanks to Barney Stinson) more than anything… until I lost my dad.
After the initial shock wore down some, and I could accept the reality of what happened, I realized so many things. First, the entire world felt so much emptier. The presence that was always there, even when it wasn’t, was noticeably gone. It felt hollow. But what lined that hollowness, was a mix of so many different, new feelings. My backbone was gone. I never realized the amount of stability I depended on him for. Basically every ounce. My entire life I felt borderline invincible, that I could handle any and everything thrown at me. I’d go where angels feared to tread. But it was because I felt like my dad could too. Neither of us lacked in willpower. So where I fell short, I assumed he wouldn’t. Having that security taken from you is confusing, at the very least. It made me question my own stability (whereas I am typically adamantly self-reliant). I realized how my confidence in decision making was wavering. There wasn’t that someone there to catch me if I slipped badly, and that makes every minuscule choice seem so much more crucial.
It’s just a constant painful realization when you miss someone, but they aren’t here to miss. From the beginning to the end of a normal day, things flow smoothly. But over the long run, you look back to realize time is putting distance between your memories that were once so fresh. It’s hard to fathom this world without your dad.
So far, it hasn’t been Father’s Day or on my dad’s birthday when it hits me. It’s always in the little moments, like when I hear a song he would always play, or see a car like one he drove. Those moments when I have questions and the person I trusted to have answers is no longer here. It’s those times I’m not prepared for that make me withdraw and have to regather myself. It’s easily a lonely feeling, and it’s capable of making you feel a little smaller in the world if you let it.
But I’ve realized there is no right way to handle a parent passing. You are still forced to stand up on your hind legs and carry out your plans- you just do it with a little more vigor and a little more tenacity. That love isn’t replaced by motivation but accompanied by it. And each time you find yourself wishing they were here, you can look up and know that somewhere they truly are.