The Precipice of Year Two

I haven’t formally written about my dad for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps it’s the finality of black and white; the irrefutable truth of a perfectly formed word. Maybe it’s the sharp edges of four seemingly insignificant letters that, in sequence, are capable of crumbling my silly existence. Dead. Four letters that are more heart wrenching than a memory and heavier than a foot stone.

This is the most painful and agonizing piece I’ve ever written. I want no part of it, the words are unreal if unspoken. Here it goes…

September 19, 2014 was a whirlwind of contradicting emotions. Shock, fear, hope, despair, love, desperation, confusion, peace, restlessness, denial. The road ahead was dark and unchartered and communal support was all that kept us afloat during the difficult year of firsts. There was acknowledgment and encouragement in abundance – we survived.

So why does the precipice of year two feel so foreign?

So why does the precipice of year two feel so foreign? My demons area intimidating and incredibly convincing that year two will be an entirely new battle:

What if I go numb?

In my reprieve from grief I long for the searing sting of loss. Fresh brevity is the only way to remind the soul that what was lost is truly irreplaceable. My head will never be able to construct the feelings that were built and nurtured by my father.

What if they don’t understand?

Past tense is grotesque and cold. There will be people, soon, whose assumption of my normalcy will force me to obtain some sort of fake identity. Their imaginations will run wild and I won’t have the courage to enlighten them.

Their imaginations will run wild, I won’t have the courage to enlighten them.

A lifetime is intimidating.

My husband always says, “I can do anything for (insert time frame here)” and yet I’ve never heard him say this in reference to a lifetime. The last 365 days have been a sequence of daily wins; survive tomorrow, brave the holidays. What will it be like to survive my lifetime?

In the midst of gut wrenching hesitancy there is also strength. Strength in the t e a r s of year one. Hope rendered from the rhythmic passing of time. Peace provided by breathtaking moments that refuse to be dampened.

Time will continue.

There is something incredibly soothing in the un-abbated passage of time. The promise of fleeting permanence. Change is time’s greatest curve ball and her most gracious gift. You can always count on tomorrow’s possibilities.

There is something incredibly soothing in the un-abated passage of time.

Beauty will persist.

Even in the darkest hours beauty will find a way to tap you on the shoulder. Often times, she’ll wait until you’ve convinced yourself of her absence. Grief has no affect on the breathtaking colors of a sunrise, the calm serene of a summer wave break, or the unique complexities of laughter.

Hearts will break.

Life will yield both harmony and heartache, a ying and yang of sorts. Expecting one sans the other is fool hearted and dangerous. Live like tomorrow will be nothing but perfect but don’t let jarring change shift your footing.

Here’s to year two. It’s not about missing you less, it’s about learning to love and grieve, laugh and cry in imperfect harmony.

Stay humble, stay focused, and make no small plans.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash


  1. To be truly alive we must acknowledge and embrace the pain and pleasure with the same mind and with the same joy. In knowing your father, I knew so much joy; in his passing I had to acknowledge and affirm that joy, even while it tore at my soul. To love is to open ourselves to hurt, and to accept that hurt is to affirm that love and acknowledge it and honor it.
    Don’t ever ask that it be easy, if it were easy it would hold no value. I would rather cry every day to honor my friend than to ever let a day pass where I didn’t remember him.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I hope that was the message I communicated but perhaps you said it better in just a few short sentences. ❤

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