So, my father’s dead.
See? Here we are at his funeral back in 2012.
If you think I sound waaaaay too casual about this, it’s because I’ve already processed his death. Like, completely. Fully. I did it with my family. I did it with my friends. I did it with my shrinks (TWO of them). And I did it with strangers — online. I blogged when he went into the hospital, I blogged when he was in Intensive Care for 2 weeks. I blogged about the progression of his health. Then I blogged when he died suddenly, unexpectedly.
Most people would disappear from social media. But I continued to blog, every single day, about what happened next. Through planning a last-minute funeral, writing an obituary, going to H&M to buy a black dress and bawling in the dressing room because they didn’t have my size. I blogged about the eulogy I made. Finding his ashes a final resting home, then saying goodbye to him.
I blogged in the months that followed, from what to do with the rotting fruit that sat on his altar (I ate it — my mom told me to) to how I still felt like a total mess, a year later.
I even started ANOTHER blog for him, with my brother, all about the music that reminded us of him.
And then Father’s Day came. And of course, I blogged about him then.
And then, another Father’s Day. And I blogged about him again.
And now, suddenly, there’s nothing more to honor my Dad with online. Because 3 years ago, he stopped being a father, and I felt like there was nothing more to say. I’ve shared all the photos of us. There are no more.
So earlier this week, I thought, I’m done with writing about my dead Dad and “appreciate what you have today” and all that other sentimental stuff. But still, the pressure to do a Father’s Day post was there. If I didn’t write about it, I felt like I was being disrespectful of him. If I did, what more was there to say other than “I miss you, but I’m doing fine now”? I decided, I’m going to do a post about Father’s Day Gifts. (That’s a super-bloggy thing to do for those of you who don’t know).
I posted the question on Facebook: Hey Dads, what do you really want for Father’s Day? Working on a post for the blog. I thought I’d get a few dozen responses from some males — after all, they’re quick to respond when I ask about the best hamburger or ice cream places in the city. I was surprised when I heard from a small handful — mostly women — with the only two voices from men: “I want the same thing you want…to be celebrating with my Dad” and “A child.”
I didn’t know what to do with those answers, I mean, I certainly couldn’t write a cheerful “Father’s Day Gift Guide” with that! But it made me realize why we may need a day to think about who the Fathers in our lives were/are — even if we didn’t know them at all — and how that shapes us into the people we are today. I mean, the fact that I just teared up as I was rewriting their Facebook responses (no joke) makes it clear that this will probably always be an emotional time for me. And for others. And not just the Hallmark Holiday it was only 3 summers ago.