I have had some strange thoughts over the past few days. I'm going to type them out and hope that my five readers don't think I'm crazy.
This entire year has been a blur. Losing my dad in such a sudden and shocking way was the most horrible thing I have ever been through. Over the year, my emotions and feelings have been all over the board ranging from sadness to anger to acceptance.
The first year is a strange thing. I found myself continually thinking about the next "event" that we had to get through for the first time without my dad. Father's Day was first, and then his birthday in August. Then we started in with grandkid birthdays, Halloween, Tiff's birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Easter and finally, the anniversary of his death.
I dreaded the anniversary. I had it built up in my mind to be this ominous and awful day. It wasn't. The day before was harder for me, actually, because it was a Monday, and he died last year on that Monday.
The actual day was filled with normal life stuff: field trip with Evan's class, grading papers, finishing report cards, cleaning a classroom, going to the grocery store, fixing dinner, and taking care of my family. It was just a Tuesday.
And now that Tuesday has come and gone, I am sad for a completely different reason. I am sad that the first year is gone. We have been through all the "firsts" without Dad. We made it through, but it's still hard. (Bear with me, this is hard for me to explain without rambling.)
I guess what I am trying to say is that it has now been over a year, and that fact in and of itself upsets me a lot. The further and further away we get from June 8, 2009, the further away my dad is. It felt okay to say, "My dad died last June," or "My dad died a year ago." Now I'm thinking of it in terms of over a year.
This might sound crass, but the first year is special. The rest are not. I feel like the special part of remembering my dad is gone. I know that isn't true, but it's just the thoughts swirling in my head. No one ever talks about the 3rd Christmas without Dad or the 8th Fourth of July he's missing. It would be weird. I'm not trying to diminish my dad's memory, but I wish time was standing still so we could still be within that one year mark. One year isn't so bad. More than one year is. I can't explain it much more than that. Sorry if I don't make much sense.
Obviously I'd wish for my dad to still be here, but it's as if I know he can't come back. So instead, I'll wish for something else...even though I know that can't happen either. See? I said it didn't make much sense.
In any case, today was the anniversary of dad's funeral. My mom didn't think she could be at church without us, so we were all there. I wasn't sad. No, that's not true. I forced myself not to think about it. I didn't feel like crying today. I'm crying now, though.
I seem to save my tears for myself sitting in the dark.
Dad was cremated, but Mom couldn't figure out what to do with the ashes. They've been sitting on her bookshelf for a year, and that's perfectly okay! However, we've realized that it is sort of hard not to have a place to go to talk to Dad. It would feel strange standing at her bookshelf talking to him.
Last week Mom made arrangements to have his ashes put in a little wall out at the Chowchilla cemetery. We drove out there to see where he'd be. I'm glad she made this decision, but it also makes me sad. It feels so permanent. Sitting on the bookshelf was not permanent. Sitting on the bookshelf was temporary. And I like temporary. Almost like Dad would still be here.
After seeing where he'd be placed, we ate lunch at Pedro's. Dad loved Pedro's. I love Pedro's.
And now I am sitting in the dark crying, typing, and wishing that a full year hasn't gone by. Now I am letting myself feel sad. So sad. Life keeps on going, as it should. But there are days when I wish it would just freeze so no more bad things would happen. Freeze so that I wouldn't have to feel the feelings.
I'm sure I'll wake up tomorrow and continue on with the normal day to day stuff. Dad will always be in my heart, but a small part of me is so very sad that more and more days are going by without him.
A year helped to ease some pain, but it has also created a new sort of pain for me. I don't know if these feelings are normal, but I have to figure that anything dealing with the death of a loved one is normal for the person feeling the feelings.
I'm not sure how to end this post. I'll leave it with the thought that grief is a strange thing. I still don't know where this process might take me.