Though outdated on some level (with cellphones, do-not-call lists and new phone lines, telemarketers aren’t really a 2014 nuisance), this piece – Seven Years Later – that I guest-wrote for Hello Grief more than four years ago continues to resonate.
In the days and weeks following my Dad’s death, countless people told me “it will get easier.” Now, seven years later, I can say that yes, in some ways it has. My Dad’s death is no longer one of the first things I remind myself of when I wake up, nor is it the last thing I think about before I fall asleep; it no longer consumes me.
But, even though it has been 2,655 days, I still miss him. I still have days and weeks when it’s just as painful as it was seven years ago, and I still have moments that make my head spin.
- Overly confident and bizarrely insensitive telemarketers
- Questions about family (notably, the “and your dad…?” line)
- Things that hit me differently (no really, do you remember that time I was watching The Bachelor?)
- Accomplishments and milestones sans dad; and
- The tick-tocking of time.
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There are days when I feel like it was just yesterday that he died, but other times, I feel as if it has been a lifetime and I can no longer imagine my life with him in it.
There are moments when I must consciously think about how long it has been since he died; it’s as if having him here was a past life of mine—a movie that I’ve watched countless times and memorized but never actually lived. There are times when I realize that I’m slowly forgetting things I swore I never would and it scares me. So, I make a concerted effort to replay poignant moments in my mind.
Now, four years later, little has changed. The telemarketer calls are less frequent. The mail addressed to him has slowed. And responding to inquiries about my dad hardly fazes me. But, I still miss him and time has yet to slow down.