One Year On

Bob in the den

It has been a year since my father died.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him in some way. I mostly worry about my mother and hope that she is doing ok generally or with some seasonal chore that my father used to do. Mostly she is fine and things have been getting better and better for her.

Right now she is in New York with my brother. They are prone to sentiment, so I am not sure they will be the best company for each other. They are going to honor his memory with a pork roast with mashed potatoes and gravy that he would have loved. I don’t have special plans. We are having nachos for dinner. He would have hated that.

I didn’t remind anyone at work that today was the anniversary of his passing. I didn’t mention it to my friend Laura, whose father passed around the same time as my father when I saw her on the train.

I am not sure why, I think it is two things really. First, I don’t really want sympathy. Death is too personal, too abstract to share. The second reason it that I don’t think I have fully accepted he is completely gone — forever. I realise that he is, of course, completely gone, forever. But I have spent the year acting like he is still there, living far away from me, we just don’t talk as much on weekends anymore. Living overseas, and with his ill health, I have become used to not seeing him very often. So as life goes on, I keep thinking “oh, I have to remember that to tell dad” or “ah, dad would like that”. So now I have collected a year’s worth of amazing things to tell him about my son’s sailing, rowing and football. A year’s worth of tales of travels, recipes, books and report cards stored up.

I know he will never hear this list of things, but I can’t help but thinking this way. Perhaps this is others grieve as well, perhaps not. However, I feel that in some small way, he lives on in me, as I keep the conversation going. I am sure all this will pass in time, but for now, its not so bad.