“It gets better”
I could not even count the amount of times I have heard this exact phrase since my father passed. And I cannot count the amount of times I prayed this would be true. Two plus years later, I can report that it hasn’t happened really. Maybe at four plus years, but as of now, no, it hasn’t really “gotten better”.
My heart aches, not every day, because I have to compartmentalize everything so I can focus. But when my heart aches, it still feels like a man with the strongest grip on earth went right through my chest, got hold of my heart and is twisting it for dear life. Twisting it like you a doorknob you couldn’t get open while your home is on fire. It is completely crushing. And my breath completely goes away to the point where I truly need a moment to physically get it back.
When someone first dies everyone is there for you. For the first couple of days messages flood in, the first couple weeks the neighbors make dinner for you. It’s a blur and it all races by you.
But then life slows down and you forget that you permanently won’t see this person again. That’s the hard part. I was used to not seeing my father sometimes. Were all used to having periods of not seeing someone. So when they first pass its almost normal in some type of way, because my brain knows there have been times where I haven’t seen my Dad. But as time passes it’s almost like my brain can’t keep up or process it. “Where’s Dad? It’s been ten months. He’s supposed to be here by now.” “Okay, fifteen months, still no Dad?”. I don’t know, I don’t know where he is.
People think that when someone dies that that actual moment is the worst part. That it’s a huge shock and then you work through it and get used to it and it slowly gets better. Maybe some people experience it that way. And while my father passing made my life turn upside down and shocked my entire system, I feel differently. My brain can’t catch up with that my father isn’t here two years later. Two years of an entire lifetime ahead of me. There’s no messages anymore. There’s no dinners made. There’s no one checking in to see how I felt after listening to his voicemails on my morning walk, or when that one song comes on at work that we spent that summer afternoon blasting it in the car together. Because they don’t know. It’s absolutely no ones fault. They think it is okay now. They think the worst is over, because that’s how its supposed to work, right?
I think my fathers passing affects me more as the days pass. I have learned how to continue to live my life with it, because I have to. And I love my life. I am happy and I have a beautiful life ahead of me and within me right now. But I’m not sure how my brain will catch up with another two years of not seeing him, and then the two after that. That’s really what I’m not sure of.