Hidden Grief

What does not show is how I still forget. I still forget that you are no longer physically part of this world. I will read an article and think to share it with you. I have an idea and I wish to pass it by you. My son does or says something incredible and I want to tell you about it.

What does not show is the painful, empty space in my heart. I always feel a tug in my chest when I am reminded that you are gone. I have accepted your physical absence — I know I will not see you in this life again — but I believe the pain in my chest will never go away. You gave me life and I continue to struggle making sense of it without you.

What does not show is the envy I feel for those who still have their fathers, and even more so, for those parents who can share their children with their fathers. I do not begrudge their fortune or wish them misfortune, but I am jealous. You too should be at the park. You too should be in the audience at your grandson’s play. You too should be here.

What does not show is the fury I feel when I am told dismissively and categorically that my son looks “nothing like” me. Without you by our side, it is so much easier for people to erase me from my son’s existence. You contextualized us.

What does not show is my contempt for a world that would take a man as loving, generous and kind as you and allow so many monsters to live. It is incomprehensible to me.

What does not show is my fear that I will forget small details over time, like how you would always have a stimudent in your mouth after a meal. I don’t want to forget these details. Forgetting would feel like you had never been here. And you were here. For 71 years you were here.

What does not show is that behind my smile, beyond the passage of time, is a permanent sadness at your absence. I accept that you are gone and I have found other ways to keep you present, but I will always miss you. For the rest of my life, I will miss you. I will love you. And I will be grateful to have had you.

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