Everything keeps moving as it normally would when you lose a loved one. The sales person still greets you when you walk into the store, but she doesn’t look at you with the sad eyes. Your job keeps functioning normally, even though you had to leave early to grieve. Your co-workers feel a tinge of pity when they find out what’s going on, but the feeling is fleeting, and they return to their business. People call and give their condolences, and they hug you and kiss your face when they see you, trying to provide as much comfort as possible. It helps a little bit, but not much. The ones who have been through similar situations insist they know what you’re going through. They insist. They say they know.


I knew something was wrong, but I ignored those feelings. When he called a few weeks ago, randomly, I felt slightly worried. But he didn’t answer when I called back, so I assumed he called on accident. Then he didn’t respond when I called on his birthday, and he never returned my voicemail. I wonder if he ever listened to it. I wonder if that was the last thing he heard me say. I’ll never know.
They say a girl’s first love is her father. I lost my first love on November 10, 2014 - four days after his 58th birthday.
I wrote the above words, in a post I never published here, on November 12, 2014 - two days later. Now here we are... exactly two years later, and for the first time, I went back and read everything I wrote during my grief. Sometimes you don't realize how heavy the hurt really is when you're in the thick of it. I remember feeling sad, but hopeful and ready to accept things and move on. I thought I was more okay than most people would be in my situation. I didn't cry much; I didn't laugh much; I didn't talk much. I didn't want to answer the phone, but the calls kept coming back to back. From everyone. From family. From friends of family. From people who I didn't even know or remember from my childhood.
There was one person who didn't call me the day I found out: my mom. All I can do is shake my head at how well she knows me. How did she know not to call? HOW SWAY?! How did she know that a phone call was not what I wanted? How did she know to give me the kind of quiet comfort I didn't even know I needed.

"Did Auntie Call You? She told you?"


And that concluded our verbal communication for the day. That was that. My dad was gone.

My dad is gone, and while our relationship wasn't perfect when he passed, I still catch myself thinking it'd be cool if my dad could see this, or my dad would love this!, or my dad would be super pissed about this. Thoughts like that. I doubt I'll ever stop having those thoughts. I imagine when you lose people very close to you, pieces of them stay with you forever. How terrible it must be to live to 100 years and have a whole address book of lost loved ones stuck in the memory bank of your heart.
This past Sunday would have been his 60th birthday. It was a crappy day for me. I was already a bag of emotions for reasons that come around every month, and then Nirrimi's post reflecting on the loss of her brother popped up on my feed, and so I got lost in her words and caught all the feelings, every last one.

I've never been one to celebrate Halloween, but the older I get, the more I understand and appreciate Dia de los Muertos celebrations. As I go through life and lose people I love, I get it. It's important to honor and appreciate their memory, openly. So here I am, doing more writing about it all.

Because that's what I do.