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Pt. 1 in a series on grieving


If you never knew him,

I am sorry you missed the opportunity.

He was generous and kind, full of adventure,

silly and proud.

He was a collector and a character, always on the hunt for treasure.

He was always early but never stayed long.

If you knew him, I know you are missing him. I am.

It has now been just over three weeks since he passed. I cried hard that first night.

He was 80, but only 80.

I feel short-changed. Yet,

struggle with how I can feel so ripped off.

Some never get to know their father. Some lose their father at a far earlier age. My own children, in fact, suffered the loss of their dad when he was only age 49.

In my mind, that was loss.

But, this too is one: a loss that is very real to me, as it is to others.

Lest I forget, this loss is not just mine.

It is a loss to many.

Each of us will navigate it in our own way. There will be similarities and striking differences,

as there is no single nor right way to grieve.

As I ponder his death, sitting in observation of my own emotions, as well as that of my siblings,

I am struck by how hard this is.

We are all grown adults, with many years of independence under our belts. We no longer need our father.

We want him.

We wanted him to be there for the first birthday of his first great-grandchild; for the college graduation of his only granddaughter; the high school graduation of his youngest grandson; and, the birth of his second great-grandchild.

We want him to show up three hours early to the family party and seek our attention when we still have cleaning to do.

We want him to tell more silly stories,

show us his favorite card trick,

beat us in Scrabble (again),

and sing one last karaoke song.

No, we didn’t and we don’t need him.

We want him.

As a friend of mine recently said, “The loss of a parent is a loss of great vastness”.

Indeed, it is.

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