(001) Dead Dad Diaries
Entry 001 — April 2, 2017
30-Days Later: Things I’ve Come to Understand Since I Heard the News
I’m a total mess today. I haven’t been writing down all the one-sided conversations I’ve been having with Dad and now I really regret that. I’m finding out how hard it is to understand my constantly changing emotional state and I think maybe if I’d kept track, it would help. Anyway, there’s no time like the present to start.
STUFF I’M LEARNING SO FAR (nothing earth-shattering, I’m afraid…)
This journey is just beginning, so I don’t know much about the how and why of it, but I have learned a couple of lessons that other people may find useful down the road.
The weird thing about this is that my lessons aren’t actually about my dad the way I expected they’d be. I figured that after the loss of a parent, it would make sense to reminisce about that parent’s past, and relive old memories with people sharing in my experience. And there’s been some of that, don’t get me wrong. But by and large, any epiphanic moments I’ve experienced weren’t epiphanies about Dad. Hmm…not directly, anyway.
So…number one on my mind is:
I’m Going To Die
I know. We’re all going to die. And I knew that before, sure. But it seemed like it was a lifetime away before this. Now, it feels IMPENDING…and who knows? It might be.
Dad was born on July 27th, 1950.
I was born on July 23rd, 1973.
Four days shy of twenty-three years is what separated Dad and me. That’s 8,391 days. I was born roughly 16,000 days ago. Almost double the number. That means that if I happen to be genetically predisposed in the direction of Dad’s lifespan, I’ve lived twice as many days as I have left.
Why does this freak me out, when it’s basically crap data without any real logic behind it?
Because. I know I’m not doing life the way I should be doing life. I hide from people, and situations where I’ll have to stretch myself and grow. I don’t date. Ever. I don’t even want to. But also, I don’t reach out to old friends or work to make new ones.
My marriage and subsequent divorce really damaged me so much more than I had realized. I kept saying I just needed to heal up from it, and take my time, and get strong, and learn to trust people again. But it’s been seven years, and I still don’t even try to have a life. My kids are basically my whole world, and they are growing up and will move on before I know it.
I suppose that’s when I’ll start hoarding cats…after the kids leave home. First, it will just be one. But, she’ll be making the rounds all over town, doncha know. And before you know it, one cat becomes five. And so on…and then a year and a half later:
You get my point, right?
So me. And my 700 feral cats. And you all know what happens when the dead lady stops feeding her 700 cats. By the time anyone realizes they haven’t seen me for awhile, there will be nothing left to find.
So, my first lesson during my first month without dad:
I’m going to die
Someday, some way
So, it’s time for me to start living