I didn’t realize how much this anniversary would hit me until today. It’s been creeping up on me slowly, and I kept looking at the calendar realizing it was coming, but the weight of it only recently sunk in. In a few hours it will be one year since my dad died (it was a little past midnight on the 6th, if I remember the time correctly).
He really was one of my closest friends for a lot of my life and someone I felt like I could share just about anything with. I’m grateful that before he died I was in a class called Family of Origin and I had many long conversations with him about his parents and life, things I had never known before. While a lot of our conversations were around mundane things like television shows and movies we were able to have deep discussions around spirituality, philosophy, sexuality, psychology, and other things not only beginning with s or p. He had a truly terrible sense of humor, full of puns and bad jokes (which I love and inherited less of than I’d like), and always knew how to make light of serious situations. He wasn’t always easy for me to be around, and we didn’t always get along, but I always knew he loved me and I always loved him.
I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to come out to him as queer and poly and grateful his reaction was neutral, but interested. He acted as if it was completely normal and/or not a big deal to be those things (which is true, but not all parents/people react that way). He supported me throughout my entire life in anything I did, both financially and emotionally; the greatest pain I’ve ever felt, aside from the loss of him, was the sting of his disappointment in me, which was luckily few and far between. When I experienced the complete devastation of the relationship I was in he bought me a plane ticket, no questions asked, and allowed me to live with him for four months. This allowed me the space and time to figure out what to do next. We grew closer during that time, which I really cherish and am so grateful for. He was an amazing father and an amazing man and he is dearly missed by me and everyone who knew him.
I’ve been so broken over the past year, but have begun the process of healing, and a lot of that is because of the support and love from a lot of you reading this. I’m letting myself feel the grief that I still hold, and will probably always hold, for how early his life was over, for my inability to call him up whenever the urge strikes me, and for the knowledge that I will not be able to share the future important moments of my life with him.
I’m not sinking into the grief again, but I’m allowing myself to feel it. Now I’m trying to honor him, his life, and what he always wanted for me: for me to be happy, be healthy, be myself, and do what I love today and the rest of my life.