Last night I dreamt that I was explaining to a stranger that my dad had died and his funeral was going to be soon. In my dream I was the age I am now even though my dad really died when I was twelve.
The stranger asked what kind of person my dad was and I struggled to find the right words. I said he was the best. I said that he had been admired by so many people. Most of all, I told this stranger that he was kind.
I woke up and clung to those things I had said in my dream. They were all true. Although it’s still hard even now. Sometimes I look at these moments I had with my dad and it feels something like cheap consolations for the even more moments that he has not been here. I can find myself still suppressing the bitterness that can creep up in my throat as I wish and wish that I could talk to him, that he could talk to me, that I could hold my hand in his and wait until he squeezed and I would know that he loved me and that I was safe.
I think if I didn’t love him, if I hadn’t felt the great love he had for me, it wouldn’t hurt this much. This year has worn me down, and I’m glad we have only a couple more months left of it. I don’t know what the new year will be like, but I’m going to think about my dream. I’m going to think about my dad. And I’m going to try to be more kind.