Something happened to me that changed my whole persona the day I found out my father passed away. The part of me that navigates through life lost all direction that day. I was a spinning compass. That dizzy feeling of complete helplessness and feeling like a limb was severed from my body were all terrifying thoughts that raced through my mind. The shock was unbearable.
I knew it was too soon for him to leave. We had plans. We had a future that included him as part of our growing family. He was going to move back home to San Diego, and we had just seen him a week ago. He gave me a whiskery kiss on the cheek with promises of seeing him again soon. He got on the plane, and then he was gone a few days later.
Grief is something you cannot just overcome overnight. There is a process, and the process is different for everyone. When you lose a parent soon after you had become a parent yourself, you find yourself on this path looking for guidance. Not only guidance, but comfort too. I have learned to give myself grace. Grace through the grieving process, grace through the horrible anxiety, and grace through motherhood as a whole. I do not say it lightly when I say I would not have been able to do any of this without one special man, my Husband.
My Husband was the bearer of sad news that day. He held me as I fought the truth. His strong arms wrapped around me like a blanket of comfort, but I could tell in his tear-filled eyes that it was going to take more than his embrace to help me through this. There was something in him that changed that day too. He was already a loving husband and father, but a piece of him shifted into a space of uncertainty.
That uncertainty made him hold his baby girl a little longer before laying her down to sleep. It made him check in more on me and my well-being. It made him become even more selfless. He was trying harder to live in the moment, and fighting the urge to hope for a better tomorrow.
The only solace I take away from my father’s unexpected passing is that it brought us all closer together as a family. Grief can hit you with waves of emotion out of nowhere, and if you have no one on shore to help guide you in, then you can drown in that sorrow.
Today marks the third Father’s Day without my Dad, and I am going to try not to dwell on the sorrow. I am going to celebrate my Husband, my Father-In-Law, my Uncles, and my Brothers. I see all of you in a special light, and you have all held us ladies up through the grieving process. We see your daily acts of love and selflessness. You remind us to laugh or cry if we need to. You remind us to play and have fun. You remind us to get on the floor with our babes, and take in the simple joys of childhood. You remind us of the beauty of life, and to appreciate all the small wonders of the world.
Happy Father’s Day to all the special men in my life, whether you are here next to us or held in our hearts. You are loved.