When a person that you deeply love dies, your world is altered. It is just never the same. One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was how much dates would matter. The calendar, for all intense purposes, becomes this annoying reminder of all the dates that were linked to that person. Their birthday, your birthday, annv., death date, holidays, and any other significant date that connected you to them.
This is how it has been for me for the past 5.5years. That is until yesterday. Yesterday would have been my dads 63rd birthday. Every year prior to this one I would have been emotional, sad, and likely very irritable. The build up to the date seems to always be worse. When the date arrives its almost like a release.
Not this year. I woke up this morning and went through my usual routine. I got online to work on some blog posts and it wasn’t until I was half way through one that I looked down and saw the date. I had even been texting with my brother and it didn’t dawn on me that he was checking on me. My mom called this afternoon to see how I was doing and I was doing great.
Then, after I hung up, there was this brief moment of guilt. I felt guilty for not being sad, for not having the same emotional build up to this day as I have had for the previous 5 years. And then I dropped kicked that guilty feeling out the second story window.
My dad would not want me to be sad and he sure as hell wouldn’t want me to feel guilty. He would want me to enjoy the laughter of my kids and even the loud meltdowns that happened yesterday.
I miss my dad. That will never change. I smile when I think about how he would have called me early in the day and said “Don’t you have something you need to tell me?” We would have joked about the stale box of whoppers I gave him one year. In my defense they weren’t stale when I bought them…. I just forgot to mail them. 😉 I would have searched for a birthday card that would tease him about his age and he would remind me that I was ever closer to the top of the old age hill.
Guilt should never be a part of your grief. You shouldn’t feel guilty for the range of emotions you may feel after a loss. You should also not feel guilty when you realize that instead of dread or sadness towards the dates that are significant to you, you feel happiness, joy and gratefulness to be able to look back on the memories you shared and smile.