Today I woke up in a grieving space. My friend lost her dog yesterday and that made me think about Gizmo and how I felt when I had to go through that in September. Heartbreak is the only word that describes that feeling for me. As my day went on the emotion ebbed and flowed but I couldn't shake the sadness.
Later I was sorting through stuff in my room. Tossing this, packing that. I picked up some paperwork from when my uncle had passed away. Suddenly, like a wave crashing down, I started to cry. But not about my uncle. Out of absolutely nowhere I thought "My dad died. My dad is dead." For months I've had this uneasy feeling about my dad that I've pushed down. It was bubbling violently to the surface and I couldn't deny the eerie feeling that was engulfing me. He was dead and I knew it.
I emailed my dad's cousin, a really wonderful woman that contacted me over the winter introducing herself for the first time. Her and I had emailed back and forth a bunch since February but I had never worked up the nerve to call her. Today she emailed me back right away asking that I do just that.
I started to cry harder and hit the SEND button with a shaking hand. When she answered my heart tried to jump out of my chest. I sat down on the stairs and took a deep breath.
"He died, didn't he?"
He died in January.
Suddenly every scenario I've ever imagined where I met my dad for the first time vanished. When I was 7 and he was going to show up on the doorstep. When I was 16 and I was running away to California to find him. Two years ago after I talked to him on the phone for the first time and he was picking me up at the airport. Gone.
Body wracking sobs escaped me then.
I think I didn't call her when she first contacted me because I was afraid to hear the bad news that I already knew deep down but was trying to ignore. I'm grateful that she gave me the chance to let myself acknowledge it when I was ready. Or as ready as I ever could be.
There is a lot of grief in my heart and in this house today. I'm going to sleep with the windows open and let the fresh air flood me as I fall asleep, reminding me to breathe.