My plan to start writing again constantly gets thwarted by life. School, schedules, brain blocks and just everything in between. Then suddenly, life changes and I'm thrown a curve ball that I never expected and I suddenly feel that the only way I can cope with this crippling, life-changing circumstance is to write.
On January 24th, my Dad passed away. It was totally unexpected and sudden. From what can be surmised, it was a massive and sudden heart attack. He was literally gone in seconds. He was walking one moment and the very next, he was gone. Just like that. In a matter of mere seconds, I went from getting ready to fix lunch to not having my Dad in my life anymore. It's ironic that it was life that kept me from writing and now it is death that prompts me to once again write.
In the week and a half that has passed since his death I have cried, mourned, cried, laughed, been angry, been anxious and scared, and then cried some more. Experiencing the death of a parent is debilitating and agonizing. It's a loss that cannot be explained.
My dad was always my "go to" person whenever I was at a loss on how to handle something. Sometimes, even when I knew the answer, I'd go to him anyway just to get confirmation on whether I was making the right choice in life. We didn't always get along but it never kept him from always helping to bail me out of situations in life where I had screwed up and found myself in dire straights. It always involved a lecture but I knew that along with that lecture was unconditional love and support. He was a staunch conservative and I am quite the liberal. He was a devout Christian, a pastor and a missionary. I, on the other hand, rebel against organized religion and haven't set foot in a church in nearly ten years. This saddened him but it didn't ever stop him from loving me despite my choices.
I'm not sure how to live life without a father. I was expecting to be much older in life before I had to deal with this kind of grief. I always expected that there would be more time to prepare for it. Clearly, time is not something that anyone is promised. My dad wasn't even promised the very next second in his life.
There are still many days in the near future that I am dreading beyond all belief. Everything of his is still in place right where he left it. Nothing has been moved. Not yet. There will also be all of the "firsts"without him that will have to be dealt with as each one arises. The first Easter Dinner. The first Father's Day. Birthdays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. My parent's anniversary, and his birthday. I dread each and every one of those days that will creep up on me throughout 2013.
I know that death is a part of life, but honestly, it had always happened to someone else before and the only part I played in it was offering up my condolences. Now I'm the one receiving the condolences and the sympathy cards and the comfort in the loss of my father. I'm the one that is having to speak of him in the past tense. I don't know how to think of my father as a "was" instead of an "is". The realness has settled in and the surreal feelings are beginning to fade. I know that none of this is a dream and my dad is, in fact, never going to speak to me again. He's never going to laugh or tell some corny joke again. He'll never call me by my sister's name or ask me what I'm cooking for dinner. He'll never fight with me over politics or religion again and he'll never say "I love you doll" again.
I know the pain is going to ease and I know that life won't necessarily get easier but that it will become different. I know that there will be a new normal for me and his death won't be the focus of every single moment of my day. For now though, in this moment, it consumes me. Not one second of one day since he died have I not thought about him and missed him with such fervency and consumption. For now, I just want my Daddy back.