What I think may be the hardest thing in the world is losing a parent. While I have remained mostly publicly silent about it, I think I finally have something of importance to say about it. Something that might mean something to someone out there.
It’s true what they say, you do not know you have until it is gone. My dad was one of my best friends in the world, and I could talk to him about anything. My goal, when he was originally diagnosed with stomach cancer (which had spread to other parts of his body) was to become a doctor. He was supposed to go into remission, and then I could take care of him if it ever came back again.
We often take for granted what we have. Think of all the people who are 70 or 80 that hate to be alive, that complain about everything, and are just filled with anger. While they may have had terrible lives, they should still be grateful to be alive, and grateful to be able to tell those stories.
While this was what I thought I wanted to do at the time, it’s not now. But that is another story, for another time. Anyways, sadly my dad passed away in February 2007. Luckily, I had gone home that weekend to say hello to the family, as it was a three day weekend.
I received a call in the middle of the night, and it was from a random number of my hometown. I knew something was up, so I answered it. It was my mother, and upon hearing the news, i felt the sickest to my stomach that I have ever felt. It felt both that the bottom of my stomach was the heaviest thing in the world, and that it was moving around a lot.
What I think I, as well as many other people do, is to grieve initially at the time. Then you don’t forget about it per say, but you don’t really acknowledge it either. We lull ourselves into this false sense of everything is going to be ok. The fact is you can’t ever talk to that person ever again.
Or can you? The most important thing I have learned is to keep talking. I will do this for the rest of my life. I can still usually figure out what he would say. What I can’t, I talk to my mom and is friends about. The important thing is to keep talking. The point where you let the grief win is to stop talking to who you lost altogether.
I tend to think where human beings triumph and fail at the same time is death. Think of how many cemeteries you have seen in your life. We give a great value to the afterlife. We almost let it rule us. But, as my 7th grade history teacher would say, “We don’t let history repeat itself.” We allow ourselves to learn from mistakes and learn from the future.
And as sad as all of it is, it’s what makes life important, what seperates and distinguishes human beings from other species, and keeps society going.