We’re currently sitting Shiva for my dad, the Jewish ritual week-long period of grief and mourning, and while it’s been a therapeutic way to deal with the grieving process it’s also brought home the fact that I’ve unwittingly become a member of a club I never wished or even conceived I’d have to join; those who lose a parent. And, it SUCKS. It literally sucks the oxygen out of your body. It feels hard to breathe. It feels like a large chunk of who you are; your DNA, your touchstone, the person who has been with you since the very first day of your human experience is no longer tangible. You can’t just pick up the phone and hear their voice, you can’t wrap your arms around them and envelop them in a bear hug, you can’t tell them how much you simply adore being in their presence. You are simply out of time.
Even though I know my father’s body is no longer inhabited by his soul, it was still so difficult to have to leave his graveside. I kept petting the dirt, smoothing it out, not wanting to leave him there. I’ve never felt this type of loss, it’s as though something inside me died too, the day we buried my dad and no amount of food, prayer or self reflection can fill that void.
I’ve never felt the sting of death in this way- or comprehended the type of finality it entailed. I so desperately want to believe in any deity, religion or culture if it means that I get the opportunity to see my father again- to feel the warmth of his smile, to have someone call me Mel, to just feel a love that is so unconditional it nourishes your soul and gives you contentment on every level. I want to say that I know he’s in a better place now- but I’m selfish- I want him in my place I want him, here, now. I hope this is not our last goodbye.