My world was unexpectedly turned upside down two weeks ago. My father was 64 years old and complications due to lymphoma took his life.
Friends and family of mine have experienced similar tragedy and I've always felt overwhelmed with empathy and sadness. But what I never understood was how I'd feel when it happened to me. I always imagined what I would do, how I would feel. But none of those visions could ever compare to the real thing.
As humans we understand we'll likely outlive our parents. And that's a scary concept on its own. But we expect, dream of them living out a long, healthy, and happy life. We don't expect them to suffer. To literally no longer have the will or fight to live. So when that happens, we try to be strong. We say and hear things like:
"he's no longer suffering."
"he's in a better place."
"he lived a wonderful life."
"he was ready."
And this helps—on the surface. He's no longer suffering. But he suffered. He's in a better place. Where? He lived a wonderful life. One that ended too soon. He was ready. Was I ready?
These concepts leave us feeling guilty in more ways than one. And now I'm left to face the light of each day knowing I'll never see my father in this world again. What happens when we don't believe in a higher power that tells us everything will be all right in heaven? We're left to our own thoughts. And those are realistic and harsh.
All we have are our memories.
What we do know, is that life is an asshole. And I'll be damned if I didn't scoff every time I saw someone post a stupid quote about "living each day to the fullest" on an irrelevant social media account. But now I understand that more than ever. There is no time but the present.