I wrote this post last December. With the sudden loss of my uncle in a car accident this morning...I decided to go ahead and post it. You just never know when you will lose a loved one.
Yesterday marked 10 years since my father passed away. It feels like it's been forever and yet it feels like it just happened yesterday. Each year that we roll through November getting closer and closer to December 1, I wonder how I'm going to handle remembering the day that my father died...because every year it's different and I never know how I'll feel until I'm there.
I really don't like trying to explain to someone who hasn't lost a parent, how it feels. Because no matter what I say, that person will absolutely never know that loss until it happens...and it's something that I would never wish on anyone. I dread that for people.
A loved one's death is certainly not just one day a year. It's every day. However, certain days are definitely harder. Funny thing is, each year those dates and the reason for them change. Most years it's not Dec 1 that gets me. It's not even necessarily a holiday or a birthday that will make me feel that loss. It's those mundane days when I see someone joking with their father and feel completely jealous that they get to have those moments. Sometimes, it's trying to be that adult that I think he would want me to be or be the photographer and business owner that he would be proud of. Most of the time, it's because I can't just call him and tell him something funny that happened. It's amazing how after years of him being gone, I still reach for the phone to call him.
November has been rough for me this year. It's amazing how my favorite time of year can also be my toughest part of the year. I suppose part of it is not being with my family for the holidays this year. Part of it is reconciling that it's one more year that we haven't gotten pregnant or aren't in the position to adopt. Part of it is seeing Mario's mother's health falter. Then there are the everyday ups and downs. Add that all together and it becomes harder to deal with.
However, I think what is effecting me the most this year, is seeing people purposely sabotaging or abusing a relationship with a parent. I see multiple relationships that fit into this. And I want to just scream! What would you do it they were gone tomorrow? Can you live the rest of your life with how you spoke to them or treated them? My father was only 60 when he died. I fell into that trap of thinking he'd be around to see me marry or have children or even tell him all those things that I thought, but was afraid to say. While I can say that my relationship with him was great, I feel like we were just at the beginning of what it could have been. One the one hand, I loved our relationship but it also makes me feel like I've lost out on so much with him.
I think what was more valuable was the light it shed on the relationship I had with my mother and sister. Dysfunctional. Strained. No communication. I think the one thing my sister, mother, and I took away from my father's death was knowing that life is absolutely uncertain. My father was there one day and gone the next. There was no warning. Because of that we now say those things that need to be said. We now have those conversations that are tough. We end every phone call and conversation with I love you. It's not always been easy, but we know it's honest. We know the pain of not being able to say how we feel. So much anger and hurt from the past has been let go. A lot of it came from miscommunication and misunderstanding. A little communication really changed our relationships into something I had always wanted. I know I'm lucky to have that now and I know there is nothing in my relationship with my mother and sister that I will regret. I hope that more people could understand this. They say you can't appreciate the highs without the lows. I think our relationship is a perfect example of this.
Speaking with my cousin on the phone today brought up that raw pain I felt when my father died. I hate that she has to go through it. I know she is closer with him than most of her family. That loss is so hard and I hated hearing her feel that pain. The worst part is that the pain and loss will never go away, you just learn to live with it. I know you can't change other people, but hopefully you can change how you deal with those people you love. A little more understanding, love, and communication really goes a long way. It just takes one step.