Papa

08/15/2011 · 154 comments

in I'm not funny here.

I have a picture of you on my windowsill. You’re holding me when I was a baby, and blessedly, you don’t look very ill. Somedays I can look at it without an ounce of sadness. But lately–I can’t bring myself to look.

People will tell you that grief and loss are something you recover from.

You’re sad for a while, angry, but then you forget and get better. There’s casseroles and flowers, and in exchange, you act like everything is status quo.

More than 20 years later I’m still feeling…incomplete. I feel like a freak; everyone else can move on, so why not me?

I’m the one left with the tears.
I’m the one who didn’t understand goodbye.
I’m the one who has so many questions.

Try as I might I’ll never be able to hear the answers from you.

Who were you?
Were you afraid?
Were you angry at your brother and father?

Are you proud of us?

Grace, as you always knew, is an overachieving dynamo. I honestly don’t think that there’s anything that can stop her. I’ve finally learned to not be jealous of the time she spent with you–no one wanted you to go.

You’d be so proud of her.

Mom is finally happy again, and I think this may be the first time that’s really been the case since you died in 1990. She did a damn good job with us. It’s time she finally gets the chance to live the life she wanted.

She’s now the person she always was with you, but that I never got to know.

You’d be so proud of her.

I’m trying to be funny for a living, and I’m doing okay.

You’d really love Adrian. Mom and Grace tell me he dresses just like you used to. He’s also a killer entrepreneur–just like you. The irony of marrying someone who’s a lot like you–when I never really knew you at all–is not lost on me.

They tell me that I look exactly like you. When your family sees me, they only see a ghost where I stand. It’s hard for me to tell from pictures, and I can no longer see your face in my few memories.

I hope you’d be proud of me.

When everything in all of our lives is going well–we’re all happy and complete–this is when I miss you the most.

And it makes me sick that I’ll never get to know you beyond what others remember about you. Their words are foreign–their memories tend to mean very little because it wasn’t you who gave them to me.

I have fading memories from a time which should have long ago disappeared from my mind.
I have a goodbye letter you wrote me from before you ever got to know me.
I have mementos and photos and memories and family.

But I’ll never have you.

I’ve learned that grief over someone you love doesn’t mean you move on, only move forward. Your heart will always hurt with the memories (or lack) of that person, and you simply learn to keep walking forward.

It never gets better. It only gets easier to deal with.

I miss you, Papa.

Have you ever lost anyone close to you? How do you deal with it?

Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Leslie: “Sometimes when I am in a public place I rarely frequent I will wait in front a row of empty stalls until someone vacates the ONE stall that is in use and then I will rush into that one. I sit in there and try to inaudibly laugh because I know that person is Freaked The Fuck Out. It’s a game I play to see if they are too freaked for hygiene – will they or won’t they leave without washing their hands? Your posts give me a similar joy.”

 

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