Two weeks ago, it was a Wednesday night and I was taking Edith to see the Lion King on Broadway. It was our Christmas present from Aaron and it was amazing. Her and I stayed out way too late, ran around Times Square, and watched her face light up with awe as the show began. We got home, put her to bed, and that is when Aaron broke the news to me that I needed to go home because my Dad was not going to live much longer. I was in complete shock. We had just seen my father two weeks ago and everything had appeared to be fine. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years before, but physically, I thought he was okay.
I got on a plane the next morning to Charleston and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My dad was struggling to breath and a hospice nurse was sitting with my Mom. Growing up, I always knew that my Dad was older than all of the other dads and that there would come a time when he would have to leave, but none of that could prepare me to actually lose him. I was holding his head as I watched him take his last breath and I feel so grateful to have been there to say goodbye. I wasn’t prepared for what came after. I had no clue how to get up and walk away from him. I didn’t know how to actually stand up and leave. My body was begging me to stay right next to him. I just wanted to be 5 years old again, crawling into his lap so we could snuggle and watch t.v. together. I didn’t want to leave him alone. I didn’t want to walk away and into the world where he no longer existed. I still don’t.
We had the funeral a week later in Fairfax Virginia, in the cemetery he built alongside his father so many years ago. Winter storm Jonas hit the D.C area that day. The snow had just begun to fall and the world seemed to move in slow motion. The silence was deafening and it couldn’t have been more beautiful.
Today marks two weeks since he has been gone. I find myself in a very strange place. The girls require so much of me still that I am forced to swing back into daily life of making lunches, bath time, and playing make believe but in the silence between chores my heart is still so heavy. I’m not sure I feel creative and everything seems so superficial in the wake of it all. At the same time, the distraction of work is welcomed and keeping myself busy has been keeping the grief at bay. A few weeks ago I took some pictures with my friend Julie for some style posts that have been qued up and ready to go so I will post those next week while I take a break from this space. I really appreciate everyone’s kind words and gestures of condolences. Friends have texted me everyday with their favorite stories and memories of him. My Dad really was the most brilliant, charismatic, and humble man I have ever met. I loved him more than words could ever say and I will so dearly miss the sound of his voice, the way he smiled at me, and his love. Goodbye Daddy.