Today wasn’t as difficult as Dad’s birthday, Christmas, or any number of the days when I missed him horribly. Still, it was the first Father’s Day without him.
I avoided dealing with this reality by watching a Breaking Bad episode and meticulously removing cat hair from my duvet cover. This plan worked brilliantly until it suddenly didn’t, and I burst into tears while putting away some face cream.
Managing the loss gets easier with time, but the pain is just as deep as it was when he died. These days I don’t talk about it too much. I can’t, because the pain is still bigger than I am. If I let myself, I cry so intensely that I lose control of my physical being. My body shudders, my lungs don’t know which way to move, my nose turns into a waterfall of snot. It feels like I could go on for hours like that. The worst part of it is that whenever I’ve felt broken-hearted in the past, my dad comforted me. Now I can’t go to him, because he isn’t here.
So today was not an intensely miserable disaster. But tomorrow could be soaked with tears. That’s the thing — you can’t predict when, or how, the grief will swell. It just keeps coming in different ways. Sometime it feels like a jagged gash, other times like a splinter. It’s always there, though, and I suspect a part of it might never leave.