I just recently re-read one of the Gospel's telling of the birth narrative. So perhaps I will start my grief narrative in the same vein.
On the 29th day of the 11th month when an orange narcissist was president, I went through my first Thanksgiving without a living dad. It was not an over(tl)y difficult day but then again so many days are difficult. Saturday night when I returned, I started my first dead dad's club tradition. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs from a local restaurant poured a glass of red wine and asked Google Home to play Miles Davis. The photo of my dad and me when I was in college, a recently-framed scanned letter framed he wrote me a few months after graduating from college faced me as the trumpet of Miles played and I twirled the spaghetti. Much was sacred about my relationship with my dad. As his youngest biological daughter and a self-described "feeler" of the family, I am prone to sentimentality.
When my parents got divorced he lived in his two bachelor pads and before he got re-married, my father and I shared many a spaghetti dinner. Back then I wasn't old enough for wine so he poured me sparkling grape juice. I don't yet love Miles Davis. It will happen. My dad did. I know enough about Miles to know that he's a genius. I also have a resilient grief list. It is a work in progress of 72 things I can do to honor my dad. Getting intimate with the music of Miles Davis is one of those things. So it seemed right to eat some meatballs and listen to Miles. It felt holy: holy sadness, good grief.
And then there is this...I convinced myself I shouldn't yet get a tattoo but bought three pairs of shoes- Grief shoes: retail therapy, purchases meant to fill a void that can never be filled.
There are a few things, I've wanted to tell my dad since October 19th. I'm actually counting weeks now rather than days. It's been about 6.
- "Have you heard John Batiste's Battle Hymn of The Republic?"
- Several refrains of " Can you believe Trump?"
- "Patti Labelle has a Christmas album"
- "I'm going to see Jay-Z again."
- "I'm getting better at parallel parking."
- "I got tickets to the National African American Mueseum for us."
- "I'm still trying to get my life together"
There is also this:
Sometimes I don't sleep. One time I had a crazy dream. Most of the time I don't sleep well enough to get to a dreaming state. Losing your dad at 33 is unfair. It's unfair and some have lost their dads younger than 33 and older than 33. I don't want to qualify or quantify who gets to feel more unfair but, I just think it's unfair. My friends have earned their status a million times over. I miss Daddy every single day. Every.Single.Day. Some days I wonder if that will ever go away. And sometimes I feel bad that I wanted even for a second for it to stop going away. The sympathy cards help. I don't want to do a lot. I want to do a lot. I want to do and not do At.The.Same.Time.
Just because I'm not crying doesn't mean I'm not sad. I decided to not anticipate grief and just to let it happen. Carpe Diem? Radical Acceptance? Survival? I obsess over "the lasts" - When was the last time I saw him? When was the last time we spoke? I obsess over "meant" and "wishes" too. I wish I could find that scratch paper where I wrote his crab cake recipe down. I wish I had called more and not been so angry that he rarely initiated those calls. I meant to have been further along in life by now so he would have been here for the big moment. I try not to get sad about the big moment, the stereotypical father-daughter moment. You know weddings? That's a dead dad rabbit hole that is unwise and still sometimes I want to jump in it. I already have an idea of what the father-daughter dance will be. A girl can still be a princess even if she no longer has her king? Despite the love of Disney and the knowledge of feminism and the princess myth, I reserve the right to be a bad feminist 6ish weeks after my dad died.
I've largely been spared unhelpful pleasantries about angels and everything happens for a reason. Thank God!
So the answer to the "How are you's?" and the check-ins is still... "Eh sometimes ok-ish"