Today, I was walking in the sun to meet a friend. A few tears threatened to free themselves, and I asked them to come out through mindful breathing instead. The tears are helpful, and sometimes I’m not ready.
I had walked past a specific street and felt overwhelmed by a memory of walking down that street beside my father, talking with him. I don’t remember what we were talking about. I remember walking by his side down that street.
I have been missing him. The reminder that he’s gone comes anew each season, as his slowly dissipating nearness stretches to what I fear might be its limit. I sense a shuffle of memories, blurring through my mind too fast to pin any single one down.
I try to slow it down and savor each one anyway. His last summer. His jokes, his expressions.
Part of me knows I won’t forget. The rest of me knows I might. People have their own experience, opinions and reassurances about this. I have found them a distraction from attending to my experience, my loss, my father.
Today, a gift settled onto my heart and with it, measurable relief. As I felt the absence of him and those tears pressing, I realized I am not missing Dad. I am feeling my connection to him, still strong.
Those tears will come out eventually. They always do. The remembering seems to come in waves of tears or smiles. I can already feel the smallest shift toward sweetness; a softer combination of tears AND a smile.