, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

my father was never just my dad, he was my bestfriend. he was the person i told EVERYTHING to – he probably wished he had a son with half the stuff i would talk to him about. he was the person who unconditionally supported my dreams. he was always there for me – for every dance recital, every graduation, every failure, every accomplishment, every mistake, love, and heartbreak. he was what you would call an exceptional father. he died april 17th, 2016 after a two year battle with cancer. we thought we had more time. he thought he had more time. stage four esophagus cancer but we weren’t prepared. now i’m living in his house with all of his things, unable to face reality. i’m stuck in a world where i pretend he’s just somewhere else because i cannot accept the reality that he’s gone. i don’t sleep alone so i don’t cry and i go after my bucket list with a death wish because i’m trying to find a purpose and a life to fill the emptiness. i pretend i’m fine when i am falling apart. i haven’t worked since he’s been gone, i haven’t fully grieved or accepted the loss. at first, going to the cemetery was therapeutic – a place to go and talk to him or just sit in silence. but then his beautiful headstone arrived and his name stood for all to see, and now, i break down in uncontrollable tears almost everytime i go. how can i pretend he’s still here if his name is staring back at me? why am i visiting a tombstone for father’s day instead of baking him a cake? he was supposed to live until he was 104, not 64. now everyone is telling me i have to move on and smile and laugh but how do i do that when inside, i feel like i’m dying. how do i move forward when he’s not here? how is that okay? i buried half of my heart when i buried him. someone i loved very much was unable to commit to me because he felt grave loss. he told me he could not get that close or open up because what if he loved me that much and i left or i died? i thought it was crazy and i fought so hard for him, to try and convince him that i wasn’t going anywhere but his inner demons won. and then i lost my father and i shut down. i can’t imagine ever loving someone so much that i feel this kind of loss again. i don’t know how i’m surviving. i don’t know how i’m breathing. i think of all the places we didn’t get to go, all the things i thought i had the rest of my life to do with him, all the ways i resent myself and disappointed him and i want to take it back but i can’t. you really can’t screw with time because once it passes, you don’t get it back. and now i’m just left with memories i’ll never get to have again and an empty spot in my life where my father should be. he lives on in me, he does. so much of me is like him but to have faith and belief in his presence spiritually is very different than having him wrap me in a hug, or watch the santa claus on christmas day no matter how old i am, or hear him say i love you or my name. he wasn’t just my father, he was everything. and without him, this world is so much less beautiful and i am so much less me.

{the loss of my father, the loss of me}
-Allison Ryder