A Father’s Day Without A Father

Today is my first ever Father’s Day without my Father.

I don’t mean “my dad is on vacation so we didn’t get to spend the day together”. I mean “my dad is no longer alive so today, and every other Father’s Day to come will be spent alone”… that’s a hard pill to swallow.

I’m not the first person on Earth to lose a parent and experience a holiday that is supposed to be dedicated to them without them but this is my first time and needless to say, it was not a fun day nor did I feel at ease at any point.

The thing is, when you have a living parent to celebrate, whether they are right next to you or not, it is a completely different experience than them being gone. It’s kinda like making plans with your significant other for Valentine’s Day, buying gifts, and then they break up with you the day before. Obviously it’s not quite the same, but that’s the only level of sadness/anger/bitterness/heartbreak I feel confident about relating it to.

It was almost like an inherent sadness. I didn’t have to consciously consider the fact that today was Father’s Day in order to be sad about it. I tossed and turned all night, despite having taken my melatonin, and I woke up at 7am in physical pain, feeling miserable, and having the overwhelming urge to cry for no apparent reason. It didn’t occur to me why I was in such a funk out of the blue, following almost an entire week of good days, until my girlfriend texted me some encouraging words about how I could conquer the day. Then I knew… I had begun my first ever Father’s Day without my father, five short days before the anniversary of his passing, and I was openly grieving for the first time in months. I can only imagine how the anniversary itself is going to go.

I was told that it would probably be best to stay off of social media today, and of course I didn’t. Each picture of a person with their father gave me the sensation of a papercut: quick, but painful. I can’t censor the world, but it would be nice if I could. It’s really hard seeing other people be happy with their dad’s when I can no longer be happy in the flesh with mine. It’s something people will never be sensitive to until they’re experiencing it.. I for sure wasn’t until I was put in this position. I mean, I wouldn’t wish what I’m dealing with on anyone. This isn’t something that I hope anyone else ever feels or has to be sensitive to due to their experiences, but it’s hard to not be angry or bitter or sad or feel like something has been taken from you.

I believe I was working last Father’s Day.. and all my dad wanted was some wings and to be able to watch his sports game in peace. I can’t remember if he got his wings, if he was able to watch his game, or if I even spent time with him that day. If I could do it all over again, I would’ve made making that memory last a priority.

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