The first year I dreaded Father's Day. There were other days to worry about, his birthday, the anniversary of his passing ..... But Father's Day came first and I was scared of how it would feel. I hated every card display. Every commercial. Maybe I still do. But what I learned is that it doesn't take a "special day" to have it hit me all over again. You can't anticipate the pangs of grief. They sneak up on you, catch you completely off guard. They are a certain song, a movie preview, a great joke..... When you need advice on retirement planning, your daughter scores the winning goal, or scrubs in on her first surgery. It's when your think to yourself "I can't wait to tell him ....." , before you remember you can't. He's gone. It sucks. It sucks everyday. Not just the third Sunday in June.
I grew up with a Dad and two Grandfathers, into adulthood.
My Grandpa Murphy passed away when I was 20, but he was there as I grew up, soccer games, dance recitals, when I graduated, and he was able to meet my boyfriend who a few months became my fiancé, and then my husband. later.
My Grandpa Heaton died when I was 27. I danced with him at my wedding, bought our first house across the street from him, and shed tears when he explained to me how very honored he was that my first born carried the love of his life’s name. I was able to watch him spoil her with an unlimited supply of cookies & and the kit kats he kept stashed next to his chair.
For years I felt cheated, that my girls never had the chance to meet Grandpa Murphy. And Libby never had the chance to meet Grandpa Heaton.
I wasn’t cheated. I was lucky.
Samantha was 14, and Libby 9 when they lost Sam’s Dad.
They were 15 and 10, when they lost my dad.... less than 10 months later.
They won’t have that. Their grandpas weren’t there to see how pretty they looked headed off to their first formal, to see them drive a car, or at graduation. They won’t be there to meet the boy they marry, or dance with them at their wedding.
I wasn’t cheated. They were.
I know that others have been cheated worse. They were children when they lost their Dad. Or they are dads who lost their children.
I know that my feelings are not rated at the top of the hierarchy of loss.
But they are my feelings. And it makes my heart hurt. And it pisses me off. And I miss my Dad.