You don’t feel lucky to be in it. But, it is a club you have joined.
Your dad died.
Even worse, when you were young. And so was he.
For those of us in such a group, occasions like birthdays and Father’s Day are reminders of what we miss. Wish for. Long for.
I wish my dad was here for these days. The brunch. The cards. Another bad tie. And all the other days, too. All the days we never had.
I long to see him as a grandfather. To have him as true north, with all the calm wisdom not of this world. To hold my hand, look deeply into my eyes, knowing all is right in the world. To walk me down the aisle and give my hand away. Only, still. Forever, his little girl.
I wonder what it would be like to know him now.
To listen to him tell his stories. To hear the unclassified version of his time as a pilot that he was unable to tell; what was it like to see the earth from 80,000 feet above and soar faster than three times the speed of sound? To understand his humor. To share a laugh, a cup of coffee, a walk on the beach. Oh, how he loved the ocean. The mountains. Any and all bodies of water.
To all the kids who have lost their dads: I see you. I know you. I understand what you wish for, long for.
Because this is our club. Outsiders may set a timeline, think you should be over it by now. Healed. Yet, a part of the entrance into this place means your grief is sprinkled like powdered sugar inside your heart. Forever. Because to be accepted here, your heart was broken.
In time, the ache will gently fade. The pain will lessen. A little.
There. Will. Always. Be. Days.
I’ve heard the saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Maybe.
I let it marinate, as years pass. Only, some days it strikes.
I had, I lost. A great Dad.
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