One year ago today was the last time I spoke with my dad. There had been a few more emails and messages, but talking about having to put my cat down was the last real conversation we’d have before his own death, only two weeks later.
Grieving the loss of Mimi, my four-legged best friend of 11 years, I texted my dad heartbroken. He told me that it would take time, but that I had to concentrate on my baby.
Not long after hearing my husband force out the words, “Your dad was in a car accident. I’m so sorry; he didn’t make it,” I looked back to this last conversation, knowing he’d give me the same advice about my loss of him. And I’ve followed it to the best of my ability, putting one foot in front of the other to take care of the grandson he never met.
But with the anniversary of his death quickly and unbelievably approaching, I’m left unable to fathom how I’ve lived almost an entire year without him. It seems like just yesterday that I spent the holidays on my father-in-law’s couch, my eyes glazed over watching Rehab Addict when I wasn’t burying myself under the covers or obsessively reading Divergent to keep the nightmares at bay. And yet the ache in my heart is so big, it feels like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve heard his hearty laugh or felt his warm embrace.