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24 Hours

The grieving process has begun.

My father. 

It is every child’s fear; the loss of a parent. I don't think we lose that fear. I tried to push it aside often. The "what will I do? How will it feel? Will I survive it?"

I'm learning all of it as of May 13th at 7:55 AM EST. It hurts like hell. It's unimaginable. I was not prepared. 

The children we were feared the loss of our mom's and dad's. 

In childhood I saw it in movies and it would spark the knowledge in me that one day… One day, both of my parents would pass away.

I’d cry at the thought. True, my childhood was filled with pain and abuse from various sources. But my dad had changed, and acknowledged the failures of the past. Despite it all, My dad had always been the one who encouraged my writing. He encouraged my love of music and movies. He instilled in me empathy, and loads of useless knowledge (trivia that has actually helped me in conversations).

Monday, my daddy passed away.

Passed away… Died... I cannot swallow these words. They are jagged in my throat, and want to come back up. Away from my body. This body that feels light and gone from me.

I lost my daddy.

And I am gutted. Absolutely shredded at my core. I am without proper words.

Was he always the “world’s greatest dad”?

No.

But he loved me and I loved him… Love him.

He taught me to be who I am, no matter what, and no matter who I was around. To be who I am, and be kind to others (even if they were not kind to me).

And I miss him, so much.

I am lost at the moment. I will find the light here and survive. I will because I always have.

But losing a parent. That fear come to life. It’s a life changing moment. I feel the change in my bones and know… I will feel this loss forever.

Losing a parent is common. Almost every person will experience the loss of one or both parents before they leave this Earth.

Despite this being a common loss, one that billions experience, I feel alone. It doesn’t make it easier, or less painful to know it’s a “common loss” (whatever that means). This is painful. 

I am trying to think of every conversation I had with him in the last month. Every. Single. Conversation. I want to remember how many hello’s, goodbye’s, I love you’s… we exchanged. I want to hold those words, and his face in mind as long as I possibly can.

He will be cremated. I will never see his face in person again. He had no life insurance, so we will not have a funeral. We will have a small service when my twin and I can both get to Florida.

The details of losing a parent. The gross and gut wrenching details of death. A lucrative business, death is a business after all. Sounds bitter and morbid. 

I’m aware that I’m hurting, maybe angry, definitely in shock. It’s just not settling in. I’m not sure how to be okay with breaking down the cost of cremating my father’s body.

Then there is my hurt… The sadness I feel for my mother. Her spouse of 45 years, gone.

I feel like I stepped into a bad dream that will not let me out.

I find myself saying, “I don’t have a daddy anymore.” But it’s not true, he will always be my daddy. My father. The man who makes up half of me. Who taught me to fly kites, introduced me to fishing, poetry, and CCR.

This is not going to stop hurting. I’ve grieved before, and I know that every loss is different. It’s personal. It takes time. It takes so much time.

I’m too confused to think about it all.

Right now, I’m just like that little girl again, feeling lost and looking for my daddy to make it better. To take it away. To fix my hurt.