I’m writing this in my Dad’s living room after a long day of cleaning his garage, sorting through his old textbooks and science lab notes, and I’m feeling the enormity of his absence. The silence reminds me with each passing second that he is truly gone.
The death of a loved one is pain unlike any other. It’s a wound that continues to open, continues to bleed, day after day, week after week.
“It’s been a month since he died,” I say to myself. “Time to move on.”
Yet I don’t move.
“Okay, it’s been six weeks,” I say again. “Maybe NOW it’s time to move on.”
But still, I don’t move.
I just stay here, stuck in this loneliness that is life without my Dad.
Every day, something reminds me of him, or I hear his laugh in my head, or I start to dial his number and then stop, remembering painfully that there is no one on the other end to answer.
Sitting in the silence, feeling fully the absence of who he was, is one of the worst things about grieving. During the day, when I am busy working and driving kids to activities and cooking dinner, that’s when the grief stays hidden just below the surface.
Then in moments like these–moments of silence–grief comes roaring to life, suffocating the notion of “moving on.”
Maybe someday, I can sit with the silence without bursting into tears. Maybe someday, the notion of “moving on” will feel more tangible.
Today, however, is not that day. Today, I sit here alone in his living room, feeling the silence, missing his presence.