A very close friend of our family lost his father this week. Cancer.
We all knew the prognosis wasn’t good. Hospice had recently been ordered.
And each member of my family quietly shuddered as the raw, vivid memories of our own September loss flooded back.
In a few weeks, it will be four years without Daddy. So much life has been lived in the meantime. But no matter what goals we set or plans we make or excitement we feel, there is still a gaping hole there. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to delete him from my address book. I still ache when I can’t call him with big news or just to “check in,” as he loved to say. When I walk down the aisle next month, arm in arm with my mom, one arm will be painfully empty.
As we surround our friend with love and support and reassure him to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward, I unfortunately know what is happening in his own heart and mind. The feeling that the world should just stop turning. The anger and resentment that people go on their merry way without realizing that someone great just left this earth and they don’t even realize what this earth has lost. The appreciation for friends and family who know how to just be present.
It does ease with time. But the loss is real, palpably so. And the deep ache and yearning for just one more conversation, one more hug, I don’t think those ever really subside. I suppose the ache is profound because you knew the deep and unconditional love of a parent. I suppose it’s comforting to realize that you were so blessed.