Maudlin Day

Dad and ErikaToday is, well, quite frankly today is a day I’ve been dreading for a while.  It’s the one year anniversary of the day my Dad passed away, and I’ve been dreading it because it feels like it should be the end of my grieving period.

When he passed away, so many people said and did such sweet things for me and my brother.  Some sent flowers, some brought food, some sent cards.  One of the cards someone sent me said something that’s stuck with me.  It said, more or less:

“The first year is the worst, because it’s filled with all those firsts without that person.  Gradually, though, you’ll feel the sadness subsumed by the happy memories you built together, and thinking of the person you lost starts making you smile rather than cry.”

This person, Wes’ uncle in fact, is more or less correct.  The first year was hard, and there are very few days that go by where I don’t hold Aidan close and smell his little baby head and ache because my Dad won’t ever get to meet his grandson.  But, I don’t spend nearly as much time crying as I used to, and in fact can now share stories and memories of my Dad without misting up.

For example, while on vacation it was massively windy and my nieces and I, together with their parents, dashed outside to fly kites.  As those brightly colored kites took to the sky, it reminded me forcibly of how my Dad used to fly kites with me and my brother on the beach.  I smiled at those memories while my kite took to the sky.

Me and DadStill, as happy as I am to coexist peacefully with my memories once again, I’ve been dreading this day.  While I know intellectually that I’m only one day farther away from the last time I saw him than I was yesterday, now that it’s officially been a year since the last time I saw him, that day feels a lot farther away.  Does that make sense?

It’s just hard for me to get used to the idea that as time inexorably marches on I’m only going to get farther away from him.  It’s just feels disloyal somehow, to be moving on.  I know that’s silly, and that it would be unhealthy to hold onto my grief, but I’m loyal to a fault and have never been the kind of person who lets go gracefully.

My little brother, Nick, is one the left with our Dad in the middle and Wes on the right.

My little brother, Nick, is on the left with our Dad in the middle and Wes on the right.

So that’s where I’m at.  Wes has been forewarned that this was going to be a maudlin day, so he’s prepared to come home bearing pizza and cupcakes, and then to turn a blind eye while I eat my weight in said pizza and cupcakes.  I called my brother a couple days ago, and we shared some memories and generally agreed that we wish he was still here but that we were glad he isn’t suffering any more.

My little brother is an awesome fellow, actually.  You guys would like him.  He’s getting married in October, so Wes and I will take Aidan on his first plane ride and watch my little brother tie the knot.  Even though Dad won’t be there, I plan to say to my brother what our Dad said to me right before he walked me down the aisle.

And that’s how life will go on.  My brother and I will be there for each other, our spouses and families will be there for us, and we’ll keep being a family.  My Dad would be proud, I think.

9 thoughts on “Maudlin Day

  1. -Txtingmrdarcy, Thanks for the hugs, I’ll have a couple cupcakes for you. When Wes wonders where all the cupcakes went, I’ll let him know they were for you :)

  2. Monday was the 12 years anniversary (I almost said “I celebrated”…oh god) of the day my own father died. It’s comforting to find others who have experienced something similar but it is also like this exclusive club that no one wants to be in. I’ve written quite a bit about it on my own blog which has been theraputic, and I talk about him, and tell stories about him often but everyone deals in their own way and sometimes you need a maudlin day. I’m very sorry for your loss. Truly.

  3. -Holly, Thanks for the comment, I’m sorry you lost your father too. I hear you on the club thing, people who haven’t lost a parent don’t quite get it, and you’re kind of glad for them that they don’t get it.

  4. I can’t even begin to imagine how it feels to lose a parent. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Your words really touched me though. I think your Dad would be proud.

  5. Some would believe and some may not, but the people who love you are always with you. They are a part of you. Your dad would be so proud of you. And from what I have read through all your posts he would want you to smile always. Be happy and it will make him happy.

  6. -Syd, Thanks, Syd! You’re very sweet :)

    -Perception, Your comment made me cry, and I do believe that. Thanks for commenting!

  7. I’m late to this party (catching up on blog posts) but I remember the one-year mark well. We’re actually coming up on 2 years since my dad passed in November, and it suddenly hit me that my daughter has now lived longer without her “Bapa” than she did with him. Those firsts are hard, and it isn’t all sunshine and roses once you’re out of the first year. But you’re allowed to miss him and think fondly of him. You’re allowed to tell Aidan how proud he would be of him. And you’re allowed to need a night of pizza, cupcakes and tissues even when it isn’t a major “anniversary” but just because you need them. Hugs.

  8. -Missy, Thanks for the hugs and comment, I’m sorry you lost your Dad too. It just sucks in every way, doesn’t it? It’s cool that he had the chance to meet your daughter before he passed though :)

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