I stumbled upon this photograph of my daughter and I. It was an immediate gut punch, breath taking and stinging feeling attacking me. Is it because my daughter is 4 years older? No. I wish it was. Well, I’d suppose its a small fabrication that I don’t miss her baby stage. Yet, the real reason this photo hit me so hard was because it’s from a golf benefit in honor of my Dad after his suicide. I don’t even look at this image and think of my Dads death. No, what’s influencing me in this deep visceral reaction is the memories of how people were grieving that day.
Every one grieves differently “they” say. I have found that to be true. It’s hard to understand. It’s hard to cope with sometimes when you’re looking at another person like “why and how are you even acting like this right now?!” That day was so strange. Stranger than fiction. It was beautiful in a way to see so much support for my family. Seeing my fathers friends is always a joy to me. They remind me so much of him. I don’t know what I even expected that day to be like. Did I really think it would be a grand old party? Full of laughter and glee? (To the naked eye it was) I don’t think so… I knew from the moment he died that every time of my life, even the highest highs, would always have a tinge of sad lingering in the background. It’s depressing that one of the happiest days of my life (think my sons birth) could also be one of the saddest. Yet, it’s true. It’s a continual reminder when the good times come that someone so beloved to me isn’t there to share it.
My daughter asked me how my Father died a couple days ago. I knew that day would be coming soon. It was the first of many conversations that we’ll have about it, I’m certain. I remember right after his death I immediately thought “I’m going to have to tell my daughter how he died.” PLEASE GOD NO. Here we are. 4 years later. Feeling weird. Wishing this wasn’t my reality. BUT IT IS.
More photographs will keep popping up in my “memories” as the years go on. Will I ever be prepared for what visceral reaction will smack me? Probably not. Grief is unpredictable. Sometimes it hits you on a weekday afternoon just scrolling through your feed.
Keeping my chin up the best I can,