Melancholy

This year Father’s Day took me completely by surprise. In Italy it’s in March (on the 19th, Saint Joseph Day), and I’ve been off the internet so wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on in the US. When I realized it was Father’s Day, I decided to post a picture of my Dad and I, one of the last pictures we took together, before he passed away in Rio de Janeiro on February 5th 2006. We were at a lovely fish restaurant where he loved to go in Rio, and The Husband was goofing around, taking “artistic” pictures of his unwitting models. It’s been seven years since my Father died. It seems like forever and it still feels like yesterday. I can’t look at pictures of him, and especially of he and I, without getting a lump in my throat. Will the feeling of loss ever go away? And how is it possible that each year that passes I love him more, not less, as the memories of his annoying behaviors, of the occasional hurtful word, of the arguments, fade away and only the good, the fun, the amusing, the kind, the generous, and the love remain.

I so want my children to hear anecdotes about him, to know, at the very least, his stories since they can’t know him in person, and yet, I can never seem to be able to talk about him. It’s almost like I can’t remember anything about him, save the feelings he invoked, until I see his pictures and then I’m bombarded with memories in a barrage that is too difficult to process much less to share.

Fathers die before their daughters. It’s the circle of life. And certainly easier than the other way around, because we expect our parents to not be there at some point, and yet it’s still difficult. Seven years on, and I still want to pick up the phone and have a chat. Seven years, and I still get melancholy on his birthday, and on holidays, and especially on Father’s Day, as it is celebrated in the US.

I wonder if I’ll ever stop missing him, I want to, and yet I don’t. Missing him is a way to feel close to him, I guess. I went through the stages of grief, I remember them. But I don’t think this pain I feel occasionally, this melancholy, the sense of loss tugging at my heartstrings when I see one of the kids do something that’s just so him, I don’t think these feelings are ever really going to go away.

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