I look at her pictures, and I remember her. Or do I? Is the person I remember really her? Or is it someone my mind has made up to fill in the missing pieces, the gap, the hole.
Each year the desire to share her with the world grows stronger and stronger. This year is no different, but this year, there is a new pull added. The pull to keep her to myself. The battle within is a strong one, and I argue both sides with just as much strength. Share her. Let more people know her. The more the better. But the pull to keep her to myself is stronger. And it wins, most times. No one could care less if they know her or not – to know the dead is almost…feared. And so I keep her to myself. Her memories, her love, her laughter, and outrageous love for life in general.
This year more than ever I dread another year. As if somehow marching through one single day, makes it ok to say another year has passed. Adding another year to the growing list sends panic deep. I don’t care about the day, I know what it means and while Im not ok with it, Im ok that Im not. I know shes not coming back, and that there is nothing on that day that I can do any differently, eight years later that I didn’t do then. But to say its been eight years. Instead of seven. That destroys me this year. It tears away at my mind, screaming that it just cant be true. It simply cant be.
Because much like last year – the endless drop in the bucket of time just doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t seem right that I can say she has been gone, for eight years. It feels wrong. And it drives the point home, that I should keep her to myself, harder than ever. Because if there is one thing worse than hearing about people who are no longer living, its hearing about people who have been gone – for a very, very, long time.
And I get that. I understand that. And Im ok with that. Most times. I see others trying to come to terms with loosing a loved one, and I hide mine. Because its been, so long.
How can I share her with others, when others, simply don’t want to know her.
I smile at a stranger, I talk with someone I don’t know. I lend an ear to someone, or a helping hand. Or I simply just let them know I am thinking about them. Because while I cant share their pain exactly – I know to an extent how it feels. Because a long, long, time ago. I lost my daughter. And while no one really wants to know about that – they want to know that you care.
As I fight with myself, the answer has already been made clear. I can hold her back all I want. Her memories, who she was, what made her who she was. I can hold back everything she was to me, and everything she meant to me. But I cant hold back what she taught me. And what she showed me. Simply just through being. And as much as I want to share her pictures and memories, sharing what she gave me – goes a lot further. For all involved.
I don’t smile because I like to. It provokes conversations that are sometimes awkward, and I don’t like those. I don’t talk because I am a sociable person, that just isn’t in me. I don’t listen because I don’t know what to say, and I don’t speak because I have something to say. And I certainly don’t live life to its fullest because I think there is something here. In a way, I do it because she cant. Because she isn’t here. Because while I cant share her memory, I can share who she was. I can try my best to be what she needed, even though I wasn’t, and I can only hope, that someday, it will be worth it.
Because heaven knows there isn’t anything much harder than trying to live without the very ones that made life, livable.
I don’t have the answers, I don’t even have the questions. I don’t know WHY, even though I will fight until the end for that. I just know that she made my life worth living, and maybe, just maybe, I can give a little bit of what she would have, to someone else. Even if its just a simple smile.
I miss you little one, I miss you so much.
– Your Dad