Wow. Everyone has written such beautiful and truthful things here. Beautiful.
I can only reinforce what has already been written. I also want to add that he will never be forgotten. That seemed to be something that saddened me most when my dad died. I worried that he’d be forgotten, or that he’d fade away somehow from our lives and our memories. But it didn’t happen. He’s always there, in our hearts.
There was some rather average TV-movie that I saw a few years after my dad died. There was a scene where a nice older lady is talking to a young girl who had just recently lost her dad, and was wondering how long she’d grieve. The older lady—who had also lost her dad years before—comforted the little girl and told her how it would be. “One day,” she said, “Missing him will become bittersweet.”
What the woman meant by that was that the day would come where the tears shed for the loss will have a sweetness to them, because it would mean that he was still alive in her heart. The awful sadness would eventually fade, as it does and should, but that bittersweet, aching love and those memories will always be there, through the whole rest your life. You’ll be able to shed a tear for him years from now, but it’ll have a sweet edge to it. Because it means that his memory and his impact on your life is forever alive. Does that make any sense? I hope so.
I also wanted to tell you something I always tell everyone who has had such a sad loss: take care of yourself. Take it easy, pamper yourself sometimes. This cannot be understated. Too often when we lose someone we want to “move on” and force ourselves to be “normal” again, far too soon. Don’t do this before it’s right. You’ll know when that is, and nobody else can decide for you.
Also don’t let anyone else try to bully you or pressure you into “snapping out of it.” I know, I know, it probably doesn’t happen all that often—we like to hope that most people treat the grieving with some sensitivity. But it doesn’t always happen that way, so just in case, somewhere down the line, you find someone who is always harping on you, telling you to “snap out of it” and stop crying or having sad moods or showing any signs of grieving, tell them where to shove it.
They might also tell you that “life moves on” so you should “get over it.” What utter rubbish. When people pressure the grieving to “snap out of it,” they don’t do it for the grieving, they do it for themselves—they are uncomfortable being confronted with that aspect of life (loss) and they don’t want to see someone else dealing with it. So they will try to pressure the grieving to stop showing signs of grieving.
I hope that you will not have to utilize this last bit of advice, because with luck, you won’t have to deal with any such inappropriate pressure. But just in case someone ever does pull anything on you, you will know to tell them to shove it where the sun don’t shine.