Well, we made it through the first year, C, K and me. It wasn’t easy, but it did get easier as time went on. There were times that were particularly difficult – like when N asked to go see you, and I had no words to explain why we couldn’t. Or like when that woman who was your partner for 20 years showed her true colours and exposed what we knew she really thought for over 2 decades.
Surprisingly, Saturday, the actual anniversary of that day, wasn’t so bad. I was busy – work, family outing, girls night out, so that probably helped. And we didn’t talk about it, except to say, “I can’t believe it’s already been a year.” That also helped. The 7 rum and cokes I had at the tavern helped, too.
I understand now what people meant, 12 months ago, when they said, “It gets easier, but the pain never goes away.” They mean you gradually come to terms with the fact that your loved one is gone, that you know you can’t change it, no matter how many times or how hard you’ve wished you could, and you just keep going. That’s all we can ever do, just keep going. But it still hurts to think about not seeing you. It hurst to not be able to call you on father’s day, or your birthday, or to invite you to your grandson’s birthday. It hurts to see people with their dads, or kids with their grandfathers.
Sunday we went to see your sister, and I think she was grateful that we made the effort to go visit. For the first time in a little while, I felt that stabbing pain in my chest. Turning on to the street she lives on…the last time we were there was with you. Sitting in her living room, where the last time we sat there, you were there too. I felt on the verge of becoming a blubbering mess a couple of times. But it was ok, because I was with family. And we’d made it through the first year.
I miss you, and love you, and hope that you’re watching over us, especially Nick, and seeing what an amazing little boy he’s becoming. It kills me that he’ll never get to stay over at granddad’s place, or play golf with granddad. That his memories of you will fade over time, if they haven’t already. I wish you were still here. I will always wish that. But life goes on, even when those we love are gone. So now we just have to make the most of the time we have left, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from your passing, is that we never know how much time we have left. None of it can be wasted.
Your number 1 daughter