My father passed away 7 years ago today.
He was powerful, confident, loving and complicated.
For 30 years he filled up my world.
For the last 2,555 days I have walked this road without him physically present.
Grief is a strange thing.
I liken it to a wound that scabs over but never completely heals.
You never know when the scab will break open and the contents its covering well to the surface.
Experience has taught me that the marking of the days and years since his passing does not lessen the grief but rather shifted how close it sits to the surface.
I know this day is coming so I can center my focus- away from the pain and towards the joy.
I will attend a work event tonight and channel him. The man who loved the art of connecting with people.
Reaching out a hand for the greeting, I will think of the feel of his well-worn hands.
His eyes will glimmer in mine this evening as conversations are unfolded. The dance of one topic to the next and I will be reminded of his boundless energy for words.
And his smile;
I will think of it a million different times tonight. I will remember how it would take over his face. How you couldn’t help but feel accepted when he turned your way. I will pray my smile reflects the same openness.
I know there will be days ahead that take me by surprise.
Days where I unexpectedly ache from his absence.
because of how he taught me,
because of the way he lived his life,
I can find the joy.