I remember where I was when I got the news, I remember knowing immediately what it meant when I heard my sister’s weepy voice on the phone. I remember the moments after that, I remember thinking about the shitty year I was having as I packed up my bag. I remember the days that followed; the visitors, the haircut, waking up to the sound of tears on several occasions, my sister completely losing it at my cousin’s baby’s naming ceremony. And I remember how I felt, I remember feeling relief, and guilt, and worry, and sadness.
I felt relief because I was certain that nothing worse could happen to me. That year had taken and taken and just when I thought I had nothing left, it took again. Somehow, I was sure it had had enough this time. It was my everything that could go wrong has gone wrong moment, the bottom of the lowest valley I could imagine, so, it had to mean that it was only uphill from there.
I felt guilty because I thought I didn’t deserve to grieve. Although he was my father, we were not really friends. I was convinced I wasn’t supposed to be hurting as much as everyone else and I really wasn’t, because what kind of a person feels relieved after getting bad news? Instead, I devoted my time and energy to cleaning and cooking, and I would slip into the bathroom from time to time, have a good cry, wipe my eyes, and slip right back into the throng of people coming in and leaving the house.
I was worried because it wasn’t normal for me to be feeling all the things I was feeling. I was certain something was wrong with me.
And I was sad because well, my father had just died.
N.B: It’s been a year and none of it really goes away. But I do love you, dad, and we miss you.
A ma pa de le se Jesu.