Since my father passed I try really hard to not allow these overwhelming feelings of sadness to envelop me during random moments. It's so strange how a song, a picture or yes, even the monumental birth of my father's grandson, a child born to his only son, can stir up this cavalcade of sadness I forget I have buried inside.
I know these feelings are not individual to me and that I am just one of millions of people who confront death and the loss of their loved one on a daily basis. And yet it feels so utterly isolating. No one really wants to confront the dying process head-on because it would mean acknowledging that all this stuff we accumulate, titles we take on and money we amass, in the end mean absolutely nothing -- and that we're all destined for the same inevitable ending.
I keep ruminating over my father's last weeks of life and my insistence on keeping the mood light and humorous. I didn't want to be maudlin. I didn't want to tell my father how much I'd miss him, I didn't want to have those end of life death bed conversations because I wanted him to feel like this was not the end, that it was merely a new, better chapter and that we'd have so many more opportunities to play cards, watch old movies and that he'd once again whip up all my favorite dishes which I'd inhale -- I honestly don't think I'll ever be able to eat chicken soup again without feeling this suffocating sense of sadness.
I was told I had to wait a year to feel my father's presence, because it takes a year for the soul to settle. I am waiting for something, anything. I think that perhaps you see signs that you want to see. You can manifest signs. My father was a maudlin kind of guy. I remember always telling him it couldn't possibly be true that this was it, that there was nothing after this. And I still can't say that I accept that, even though I've felt nothing from him since he passed over.
So I continue to play the game of life and create situations and opportunities that will distract me from the inevitability that one day I, too, will die. It is such a sobering thought, and honestly until my father died I never realized (or allowed myself to realize) that everything we love has a shelf life. I desperately want to go back in time, to a place and a moment where I didn't feel death's hot breath beating down my neck, marring every happy occasion with its sinister reality.
I think of these words my friend Jennifer Perillo posted on facebook and today it is making me feel just a tad better...
"Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall" is on loop this morning. Such writing brilliance from S&G. "So, I continue to continue, to pretend my life will never end." There is so much truth in that line alone. It doesn't end, it just takes on a different form, one we can't see or hear, but always feel.