It’s been nine months since Dad’s long decline from Alzheimer’s disease came to an end. I remember writing the post about it being the end of the struggle and I really did mean it. For my family it was the end of a long, difficult road full of fear, despair, sadness, and banding together for strength.
I don’t know if I was just in denial about the mourning process or if I truly believed I had done the majority of the mourning in the seven years of his decline, but I have to say that things have not gotten any easier. In fact, I’m feeling more loss and more sadness now than I did even 6 months ago. I know its not just pregnancy hormones because others in the family are feeling it as well. I’m just not doing so great in dealing with losing him.
I think part of it is that the first few months after he died, I really was dealing with filing away a lot of the feelings about his disease and his decline and everything we had gone through with him during that time. Watching him decline for seven years and then spending eight days basically watching him die was extremely difficult. Being able to release all that hurt from my heart was essential. The hurt will never truly go away, but I knew I couldn’t hold on to it so close or I would never be able to move on.
Now I am left with the loss of him. Not him with the disease, but him. My Dad. The man who taught me how to ride a bike and coached my little league softball team and took me to the barber shop with him on Saturday mornings. The man who helped raise me, nurture me, and teach me about life. The man I love so much. He’s gone. No more hugs, no more smiles, no more hands to hold. No more words of advice, no more laughter, no more him.
There is a gigantic hole in my heart that nothing could ever fill. Never was this more evident to me than just a couple of weeks ago when the Boo said to me “I want to see Dida.” My immediate response was “Baby, I see him every time I look at you.” It’s true, my little man is everything in me that is everything in my Dad. Sometimes it’s his smile, sometimes just the curve of his face, but he does look a great deal like me and my Dad. So, while the hole will never be filled, it is eased slightly by the reminder that Dad lives on. He lives on in me, he lives on in my son. He lives on in the hearts of everyone who knew him. He’ll even live on in the little lady Baby Bean arriving any minute.
I miss you Daddy, I’ll never stop missing you.