Facing Reality

December 25, 2010
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I wouldn’t say I was in denial about his death. It was the one thing I never wanted to talk about, or think about. That doesn’t mean I didn’t know I could visit him whenever I wanted. My body just wouldn’t move once I was there.



Amongst my brothers, my mom, and I there have never been conversations about Dad. It could be because we were kids when it happened, but we’ve never had the strength to mention him without filling up with tears. I’m sure we’ve all questioned how each of us feels; at least I know that I’ve always wondered if they are afraid to bring him up.



Mom would take us to the cemetery off Ocean St. and bring Dad flowers. His grave is next to the tree where Mom would always hang something up, but I forget what it was. I always stayed in the car. I don’t know why I did; I just know that my body wouldn’t move. Mom would stand there for quite a bit, and I always wondered what was on her mind.




The first time I remember talking about Dad to someone was during a “wallow” between my best friend at the time and I. (A wallow is when my friends and I would talk about anything and promised each other to not judge one another.) I didn’t just talk to her, but in a way I talked to myself about my feelings toward the situation. It’s a horrible feeling growing up without a dad. Especially when your friends are out bonding with their dads and when you are at weddings and they have the daughter-father dance. The dance has always been a reminder of how I will never get to experience that at my own wedding someday.



As I got older and visited the cemetery I would tell myself “next time we come I’m going to get out of the car.” My body never moved when it came down to it. My brothers never got out either. It was always an awkward silence until Mom would get back in the car. I wondered whether my brothers’ bodies wouldn’t move either, or if they were too busy noticing all the balloons and flowers on the graves. Some graves were really decorated, and some had nothing at all which always made me feel really bad.



When I started high school and started thinking about the future, like college, my main priority was to make Dad proud. This still is. Whenever I’ve gotten a bad grade or have given up on myself I feel like I’ve disappointed him. When things in life go wrong, or I make a mistake I feel like he is ashamed of me. Whenever Grandma or my uncles tell me about him it makes me feel bad that I can’t remember everything about him. I’ve never been able to understand what I did to deserve this empty hole I carry in my chest. It’s hard for me to believe in God because it fills me up with anger that I never really got to know Dad and that he and Eddie didn’t get to meet each other because Dad was taken two weeks before Eddie was born. If God was real why would he have taken my Dad away who never did anything to hurt anyone?



November 8th is Dad’s birthday and every year Mom brings him flowers. His birthday has always been a hard day for me because it’s not fair that he isn’t here to celebrate it. On November 9, 2010 I was having a really hard day because I kept trying to not think about Dad’s birthday, my boyfriends’ mom had just cancelled my surprise for my boyfriends’ birthday, and my boyfriend and I got into an argument about his mom. It felt like everything that could go wrong in a day, did go wrong, to the point where I left school and wanted to drive as far away as possible and not come back. The main reason was Dad’s birthday. I needed to feel like he didn’t hate me for never being able to get out of the car in my 17 years of living. I wanted to tell him how much I need him. My body drove me to the cemetery with balloons and flowers and walked me to his grave for the first time. I sat there and cried for the first few minutes. Then I talked to him, and told him how hard it is to try to move forward when there are so many things I want to know. Why he’s gone, if he can hear and see us, if he is proud of me, if he’s really in a “better place.” I never imagined it was going to be that hard to sit next to his grave, and face what I had been avoiding for years. I never realized how many feelings I had been hiding towards this situation until this day when I cried enough tears to water a whole village.




Dealing with the fact that Dad is gone will never be easy. I think what has made it harder is keeping all my emotions bottled up inside of me, and now the fact that I’m almost an adult, and that I need to learn to be strong when I have these break downs. I know it’s not healthy to keep so much anger and sadness inside of me, but honestly no one understands how I feel. It’s something I will never be able to find the answers to or forget about.



When I walked back into my car after saying goodbye to Dad I wondered if he was able to give me a sign that he heard me, or most importantly forgave me. That kind of stuff only happens in movies I thought after I left. When I got off work later that night I walked out side and saw rain, my favorite thing in the world. I knew it was Dad’s way of telling me that everything will always be okay.





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