A couple weeks ago, one of the kids asked me how long it had been since…you know.. Daddy… I said that we were coming up to 2 years.
“What’s the date?”
“I don’t want that day to come. I don’t want it to be another year without him.”
From that point on, it’s been referred to as Doomsday.
We must all have been subconsciously thinking about this upcoming anniversary. A couple nights before this conversation, I dreamt about you for the 1st time in ages. You were waiting for us at the arena for Rain’s hockey game. The kids and I had been excited to see you again (yes, even me) after so long. We were anxious to hear about your extended vacation. You greeted us with the same big goofy smile you always had for the kids. Then I woke up. 4:01am and I was wide awake and shaken. In efforts to fall back asleep I thought about the day’s events (trying to ground myself in reality). Suddenly I wondered if I’d remembered to turn off the BBQ after dinner. I tried to assure myself that I had of course turned it off, I always do. But then came thoughts that maybe you had come to me in a dream as a warning (so much for reality). You had come to save us from an impending explosion – you *are* supposed to be our guardian angel, right? As I grappled with varying degrees of reality, my tossing and turning woke up Keith who graciously went downstairs and outside to confirm that the BBQ had indeed been turned off. Nothing to worry about. Good to know you continue to be more jack-ass than angel.
Even still, it was kinda nice to see you again. Next time stay longer. There are things I’d like to say to you (in person, not just those conversations in my head).
We’ve sort of adapted to this new normal..but let me assure you…it still sucks. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to write, Rain and Moxie’s dad is deceased on various forms. And it sucks. Every time.
And while the kids are growing up to be such incredibly thoughtful, imaginative, gorgeous souls, they are also now processing and thinking about your death in an older and more complex way.
They’re looking to me to help them answer questions that I can’t even understand.
Why didn’t Daddy talk to someone about his feelings and ask for help?
It’s ironic that your anniversary falls within Mental Health Awareness week. I know that I should be out there promoting the shit of out this..and usually I do. But right now it’s like everywhere I look, I’m reminded of your death and the days/months/years leading up to it. And I want to scream every time I see that hashtag #GETLOUD
I’ll get loud alright…
Mental illness is BULLSHIT !!!
Suicide is BULLSHIT !!
Your death is BULLSHIT !!
Me having to deal with all of this is BULLSHIT !!
The kids having to deal with all of this is even more BULLSHIT !!
Those late night tear-stained conversations are the most bullshit of all……..
I hate that you’re missing so much of their lives. And I hate that they’re missing having you in it.
You continue to be missed. You continue to be loved. And we will remember you and honour you on Doomsday when it arrives. But right now, I think this is bullshit and I’m going to #GETLOUD about it.