Today would have been my father’s birthday. I’ve been aware of the date my whole life, and for the past few weeks I’ve seen the date staring at me from the calendar. Up until this morning I hadn’t realized it would be so hard to breathe when the day actually arrived.
It became very obvious this morning when I woke and realized I wouldn’t be contacting him for our yearly conversation on aging and the unimportance of celebrating birthdays after the age of 21. I wouldn’t hear him chuckle over the phone when I asked what he wanted for his birthday, and there wouldn’t be a gruff reply of “new eyes” or “working ears”.
Grief is amazing when it hits. The feelings can blindside you, and leave you groping for a foothold. For me, I often don’t realize it’s hit until I can no longer see for the tears. I’ll be a curled up mess on the floor, the bed–or when I’m really lucky (and by lucky, I mean not at all)–in the car driving through the rain in crazy “Oh my goodness, it’s raining!” Pacific Northwest Traffic.
My grief today has been like a world-class roller coaster. The loops alone would leave even the biggest thrill seeker checking their throat for their stomach.
I know healing takes time, and on most days, I’m good with that. Today however, I’d love if grief would show itself to the door so my lungs could resume functioning properly again.
There’s always tomorrow, right?
Until then, Happy Birthday, Daddy.
I ask you to guide me through this day LORD. Help me to see the light through the darkness, and to embrace joy rather than crushing despair. Amen.