Today is six months since I said goodbye to my father. I'm not even really sure to begin. I've been curious about this day for a while. Where would I be, how would I be feeling, what would be going on....I wasn't sure what the six month marker would hold for me.
I can't say it's any big surprise, really; I'm here.
Shocking, I know. It's taken all this time to start feeling...OK? I've been OK, I guess, but more in terms of not feeling like I'm still in the middle of WWIII and needing to make phone calls every day and feel my stomach churn into a million knots when I heard one more piece of bad news, and not feeling like I needed to fix things, or interpret or feel completely overwhelmed ever day. Not wondering if I'll get panic phone calls at midnight, or have to step away from work for a half hour consultation with some nit-witted doctor 2,000 miles away.
It's take these past six months to actually feel like I've begun to heal from all of those battle wounds. I wish I could tell you how mangled I felt walking away from my father's funeral in June. It felt like I had endured a 9 month long, grueling, painful battle on the front lines with my mother....and my spirit was riddled with bullet holes, limbs were falling off, fingers were frostbitten and black, body completely bruised. If that gives you any kind of a visual comparison to the way I felt. True, my father's death was, in a way, a sigh of relief, especially for him to be released from his torture, but also for myself and mother.
I felt that sudden weight lifted from my shoulders when I left his room after he passed, but I had no idea it would take this long to begin to heal.
It's funny that Christmas is upon us, and suddenly, I feel like a little girl who knows she isn't going to get what she wants on Christmas morning, I know it's silly. Having my father gone is such a keen reminder that life, the whole reason we are sent to earth, is to be tried and tested; to feel hurt, sadness, grief and loss. My father has always been a part of my Christmas memories, and now he's not here, and that makes me sad, even though I'm celebrating the birth of Christ and the gift of eternal life...I still miss my dad.
The cold reality of his absence is setting in during the season of Christmas, and somehow, that washes away some of the magic and innocence I remember feeling as a kid. All of my grandparents are gone, I have none of them left. And my father is gone. I'm sure next year will be better, but today especially, I'm thinking of my dad, and this is my first Christmas without him.
To leave this on a happier note, I am grateful for the miracle of Christ's birth, for His life and sacrifice. I know that through the sealing powers of the temple, I can see my dad again someday. And it all started with a baby in a humble manger, so very many years ago.