It didn’t occur to me until yesterday, during my son’s last high school football game that today marks twelve years that my Dad left this earth in search of a place where his body would be whole and his pain non-existent. As time has passed, the grief has merged well with my other emotions. It no longer holds court on a daily basis and the tugs on my heart occur when something extraordinary is happening to our family.
December 4, 2005 changed my family portrait. But, instead of me drowning in a sea of sadness, the fog that once clouded my vision has lifted and only some residue lingers. The process is different for everyone, of course. There are ebbs and flows, but for me, I celebrate his life instead of wishing he were still here. I know he is in a much better place and I also know that he is an active participant in my life. I am making sure that the void he left by leaving this physical world is kept full with memories and “what would Dad say” nudges when needing some inspirational motivation.
So for me, today is no longer one I dread, but rather a day that brings a smile to my face indicating that I am a better person simply by his presence. He would not want the blanket of grief to smother those he left behind. Instead, I just carry a piece of him in my heart knowing that I was the luckiest girl in the world having him as my father.