First Year

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 I have been told that the first year of losing a loved one is the hardest. I spare little exaggeration when I say that since my dad died, I’ve had to learn how to live again. I’ve had to learn how to listen to music without his voice singing along. I’ve had to learn to laugh at jokes that we both would have found humorous. I’ve had to learn how to wake up in the morning knowing that they wont be a part of your day. I’ve had to learn how to breathe with what seems like a permanent knife in your chest. I’ve learned how to make mistake without hearing him say “It’s ok.” I’ve learned how to stand without the person who taught me how to walk by my side. Sometimes I panic with the thought of “How am I going to get through this day without him? This week? This month? This year?” And there are times where I think of solutions but in reality, you get through it because life keeps going no matter how firmly you want to plant your feet in the ground and refuse to move. Even in the darkness of this grieving process, there are moments where you can look back and see that with the absence of the person you’ve lost there has been a somewhat silent growth. I appreciate relationships more, I hold onto memories with a tighter grasp knowing that at any moment, those memories are the only portal I have to a person.
It’s about to be the time of the first year that I have dreaded since March. Friday will be the golf tournament that he isn’t playing in, Tuesday will be the birthday where I wont buy him a card, and the next week will be my birthday where I wont hear his voice saying “Love Puff”. I wish I could close my eyes and these upcoming events disappear but that’s not going to a reality. I’m terrified for what these next few days bring but if there is one thing that I have learned throughout my dad’s years of being sick and his death, it’s that hope is stronger than fear. I, as well as my whole family, will be stronger when we go to bed October 6th than when the day began. I also know that as my days without my dad begin to multiply, there will be more moments where I can live for him and because of him rather than days that feel completely empty without him. My Dad being gone is never going to be “ok”. I miss him more than I can explain but I am not going to live in fear when I can live in the love that he established, be the ‘Puff’ that he wanted me to be and continue to embrace all the days, good, bad and in between that come my way.
 

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