Today is the 8th of November. Yesterday was the 7th. And I missed it, somehow.
Dad died five months ago yesterday. Where has that time gone? Five months of not being near him. Madness.
But, the thing is, I forgot about it. Not that I forgot him; the knowledge of his death is a recurring stabbing pain of reality, day in and day out. More that, the anniversary of the 7th didn’t dominate my life like it has for the past few months.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. Is it progress? Is it symptomatic of how stressed and overworked I feel? Is it an indication that the part of me that is missing him is far greater than the part of me that worries about anniversaries?
It is absolutely normal to worry about anniversaries. Firsts. I’ve been worrying about Christmas for the past month. I’ve never had a Christmas Day, Christmas Dinner, Boxing Day… without my Dad. Never. I’ve never had a Christmas outside of this house. So naturally, the thought of being here with Dad missing… the empty chair, the incomplete traditions… I couldn’t cope with that. And, being the complete control freak that I am, I put wheels in motion for a new plan. A Christmas that I would not spend at home, trying to put on a brave face for my kids. Sure, I would still see them, but I congratulated myself on the justification of my plan: they could spend the majority of Christmas with their Dad for the first time in his new house. I would visit and support like he usually does. I could then go and be miserable with my sisters.
Slight problem is, my children don’t want that. They say they will miss me, and our home as well as their Grandad whom they have never been without either.
I can’t tell you how I have fought with that one. Is my grief worse? Does that then justify my selfishness? It’s only for this year, the first. They won’t be missing much.
But they would. And so would I. Dad made Christmas. He loved it: loved the traditions, loved being a family. He loved this house, his home for over 50 years. And one Christmas away is not going to retract from that. It’s not going to make it better, or easier.
I can’t run away from my grief because I carry it round with me, each and every day.
So I’m having Christmas at home, with my children and my family. I’ve invited my ex. I’ve told my sisters to invite their in-laws – the more the merrier. I’m going to celebrate Christmas just as my Dad taught me to. I’m going to miss him for every second of it, but as I miss him every second now it’s not going to make any difference.
So, I missed the 7th. So what? I miss my Dad every day, regardless of the date.
As Dad would say, “It’s life.” And so I must go on.