Today (2 days ago by the time you read this) would have been my dads 58th birthday. This is the 22nd birthday we have not been able to celebrate with him.
Throughout these 23 years of not having my father, I have learned a lot about the process of grief and mourning. A 11 years old, I didn’t get to mourn… I didn’t know how. At 33 years old, I can mourn… And I do.
I shed a few tears today. Not for myself, but for him. For the years he has missed. The birthdays, the proms, the weddings, the grandchildren… The life he has missed.
For a while I felt sorry for myself that he wasn’t around for all of that; but now, I feel sad for him. I feel sad that he was at a point in his life where he felt death was his only choice. I feel sad that the love of the people in his life was never enough for him to feel complete.
Yes, I miss him… But more the idea of him, because I didn’t know him. The man I knew isn’t really worth missing. I miss the idea of what he should have been. I miss the idea of what I wanted him to be.
Today I had good mourning. I had mourning that allowed me to release things that have been locked up inside me for 23 years.
Have you ever had to process a death? How did you do it?