The above pic is of my dad when he was in the Greek Army. I’m not sure of the year. Check out those pants! The beret! The mustache!
He died August 2006. After seven years, I wish I had something profound or helpful to say on the topic of his passing.
Death sucks. No two ways about it.
It’s tough because we all want there to be something profound and helpful to say, don’t we? When someone suffers a loss we’re all just praying we have that one kernel of wisdom that will help them through. The only thing I’ve learned is that sometimes there are easy or better ways for people pass over, but it’s always going to suck. If you had a good relationship, a bad relationship, an impartial one – something will shift in you and won’t ever be the same.
I’m very fortunate – I had a great dad. Seven years after his passing and I’m tearing up just writing this, like it was yesterday. Sometimes it feels like it was. Sometimes it feels like it’s been forever.
After seven years, I wouldn’t say I have wisdom but I do feel like I’ve learned some things.
1. He wasn’t just ‘mine’ to lose – it probably sounds so obvious, but it really through me for a loop seeing my dad’s friends distraught at his passing. His surviving sisters were just gutted – gutted in a way that I could appreciate but felt like couldn’t express myself. They’re Greek, and so expressing emotion is more… allowable (?) for them. Friends of his from when he first came to Canada told us stories about my dad when he first came here and it was so strange realizing that these people, who were kind of like strangers to me, had lost something too. My mother as well lost a husband and a partner.
2. I was so lucky to have my sisters and my mum – I felt like with all these other people who had lost something, my sisters understood the same loss I had felt.
3. I hate when people won’t or can’t talk about the dead – I hated when, for the first couple of days, months, years I would bring up my dad and people sometimes seemed to ‘freeze’ – like the didn’t know how to respond. I understand it, but I hated it. Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he’s not still a big part of my life. My feelings for my dad and my relationship with him didn’t die the same day he did. To me, not discussing him is a disservice to his memory.
4. It still sucks.
5. It’s not fair. Some people don’t even like their dads or have really shitty dads but they’re still alive. It’s cruel and it’s mean to think it but I do.
6. Father’s day still sticks out. Although I prefer to think of him or remember him on Father’s day or his name day or his birthday rather than his death date. His death date was the ‘least’ part of his life, yanno?
7. Everyone dies. As he used to say, “When St. Peter is calling, there is no ‘take a message’.”
I guess it all sounds pretty maudlin and depressing. I don’t mean it that way. But if anyone stumbles across this post after just losing their dad, all I can say is – It sucks, man. It really does. You learn to live with it and that’s okay. You’ll be okay.