I’m giving you a virtual hug or pizza or whatever is a comfort to you, even if it’s just a temporary one.
I know, just as you do, there is no quick fix to this feeling. I can’t string together the perfect collection of words to make it better or easier. If I could, I’d be doing it always. I’d be traveling the world helping grieving children feel a little less hollow. But I don’t. Frankly, I’m not sure such a thing even exists.
All I know to say is you aren’t alone, as isolated as you may feel. Someone else out there is missing a father. Someone else out there is hating this holiday because of what it does to you.
It reminds you.
These days have a way of sneaking up. The milestones. The holidays. The aching hole that, most days, you can convince yourself isn’t there. You’re okay, just strolling along, laughing at a GIF on Tumblr or texting your best friend about that weird thing someone said on Tinder. Everything is fine. It’s just another day.
Until it isn’t.
Until the calendar tells you.
Until Facebook shows you photos of everyone celebrating.
Until Instagram reminds you of your inability to take a new photo with him.
Until Father’s Day Groupon emails taunt you with great deals on gifts you don’t need.
These moments will find you at the most unexpected times. You were singing to some Jason Derulo song just seconds ago, really emphasizing the DERULOoOooO part, and then it’s here. And your throat tightens. Your tear ducts seem to say, “Hey! Just letting you know I’m here and ready for action.”
Maybe you lost your father to death. Maybe you never knew your father to begin with. Maybe father has just never been part of your vocabulary. Whatever the reason this holiday hurts for you – I’m with you. And other people are too. The day will be over and you will continue on. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. It’s a fallacy to say time heals all wounds.
What it does is teach us how to move forward with scars. It teaches us how to hurt and continue surviving. Because there will be unbelievable moments of sorrow. But guess what? There will also be happiness. There will be memories or things that have you laughing, not crying.
But today sucks. And I can’t sugarcoat it.
But I’m with you.
And if you’re lucky enough to have a dad (whatever definition you choose), hug them. Tell them you love them. Because life is unpredictable and something as benign as a Groupon email with the headline “Perfect Gifts For Your Dad” might make you cry into your coffee cup.
Dad, it’s been 6 years and it still stings like I got the phone call yesterday. Thank you for providing me with some of the happiest moments of my life. As terrified as I am that I will forget the sound of your voice, I will never forget the comfort your presence granted me. You were safety and warmth. You were everything I hope and try to be. Thank you for showing me the true definition of fatherhood, love, and humanity. I love you.