The weird thing about death – or at least one of the weird things – is how it distorts time.
It has been ten months since we lost my dad, yet sometimes it feels like just a few days since I last saw him. As I write this I am sitting on the couch in his house, and part of me expects to hear the familiar sounds of his homecoming at any moment.
I always loved that sound throughout my childhood. I can actually imagine myself a little girl, running to the door to greet him, throwing my arms around him and breathing in the familiar smell of his suit. It is a visceral memory that delights my senses.
He is still here, in every corner, in every space in this house. Sometimes, it feels like he never left. In a way, he hasn’t.
At the same time, sometimes it feels like he’s been gone for years. It feels like he has missed so much.
Last night the girls and I ate at The Brick Alley Pub. As we were sitting there I remembered that the last time we were there was to celebrate my birthday. We came with my parents. In my mind I thought that couldn’t have been my most recent birthday (a little less than a year ago); Dad has been gone longer than that. I thought it had to have been my birthday two years ago that I was recalling.
But…it wasn’t. It was only eleven months ago, that birthday celebration. This year will be my first birthday without him. I didn’t necessarily see him on each of my 44 birthdays (I would wager to say I did on most), but without fail, from near or far, I was serenaded by him. Oh, I will miss that sweetly terrible sound so very much.
I miss him every day, and I suspect I always will…even as the days, weeks, months and years blur and warp and weave in my mind.
It matters not, how long has passed…
The ache is just as deep.