This coming Saturday marks three years since your death. Three years of replaying every last conversation we had. Three years of seeing you through my rearview mirror as you buckled up the kids and said good-bye for the last time. Three years of watching you live and breathe in our kids. Three years of questioning your actions. Three years of living with my guilt.
But this year I had decided to ignore the anniversary. I’ve moved on (didn’t you get the memo?). I am happy. I have an amazing life. I am so fucking balanced that acrobats and accountants are wondering how I do it. (stop laughing, it’s true..mostly.)
Yet somehow you have managed to slip into my subconscious. Despite my best efforts, you have snuck past my mental roadblocks and have invaded my dreams. For weeks now I’ve been tormented with the most horrendous nightmares that I’ve decided to just stop sleeping all together (The local coffee shops can thank you for the influx in sales). I won’t go into the gory details (’cause obviously you already know them) but for real… STOP IT!!!!
And I’m not the only one feeling you this week. Sunday was like all of us were PMSing on steroids. Even Lucy was hissing at everyone that walked past her. We didn’t have to mention your name or reveal the impending date but it was there.
Last night at dinner I was casually talking about our upcoming weekend plans when Moxie looked me straight up and said, “but what about Daddy-Day?”
Oh right, D-Day. You remembered.
Deep breath. That’s okay, I do better when I’m not in the elephant’s shadow anyway.
Me: Of course we can do something to remember Dad. Let’s think about some options. But in the meantime, do either of you want to talk about it or do you have any questions?
Her: Well I learned a lot about depression when I wrote my speech and I know that there are lots of kinds of depression so I’m just wondering… what kind of depression did Dad have? I mean.. he didn’t seem depressed?
Me: You mean he didn’t seem sad?
Her: yeah.. how is that depression? Wasn’t he really happy?
*Insert an hour of me rambling on about how you WERE so happy when you were with them and how much you loved playing with them and how all of that happiness was so very real….despite the fact that underneath, you suffered from depression. Sweet Jesus, I really wish you’d left me a guidebook or at least an FAQ list of how to answer their top 5 questions.
So we made a rough plan to do something to remember you on Sunday (’cause sorry, it’s not all about you and our Saturday is already scheduled). It will probably involve food. And it will probably involve some sort of activity where we share stories and send messages to you. And it may involve some sort of exorcism to get you outta my subconscious. But we will take some time to remember you.
And rest assured. you continue to be missed. every day. no matter what date it is.
Important Resources (because although I can speak about my own personal experience, I am NOT an expert):
If you are currently supporting a loved one with mental illness, please, seek out expert support. Find support for your loved one and for yourself.
If YOU are considering suicide at this time, please, I urge you to call a crisis line in your area.
- Call: 1-866-531-2600 (in Ontario, Canada)
- Website: Getting Help: CMHA
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