The other day, while I was sitting on the train going through my LinkedIn feed, I stumbled across a post written by Pete Marsh. I knew nothing about him, I’d never heard his name before.
Marsh’s piece is titled Since my son died. I read it on the train and got all choked up. While I will not say or pretend that I know the pain that Marsh feels since I’ve never lost a child; I could however relate to a lot of what he wrote. In the beautifully written piece, he describes how the death of his son has changed him. He describes what he no longer does, or what he gets surprisingly mad at nowadays, or what he no longer worries or gets upset about.
It got me thinking about how I’ve changed since my dad died, 1,5 years ago. Truth be told, sometimes it still doesn’t feel real to me. I can still hear his voice in my head, I can still imagine what he’d say or how he’d react to certain things. Of course, the hard part is to deal with those moments when his reaction is absent, since he’s no longer here to provide it; it’s all in my head. Getting back to the point, I thought that maybe just my perspective changed, because I’m still me. However, after having read Marsh’s text, I realize, I have changed.
Since my dad died,
I have a hard time seeing people with their fathers. It doesn’t matter what age the children are, they don’t need to be my age. Just the fact that they have fathers, just seeing it, gets to me. It doesn’t feel fair. There’s no telling how my reaction will be, however I don’t break out in tears because of it, but to various degrees I do react.
Being the [digital] nerd I am, I spend a lot of time on my social media accounts, or in Internet communities in general. And, much like Marsh, I tend to get angry or upset when people share family memories, involving their fathers. Let’s just say that for someone who loves to be active online in her spare time, father’s day (especially when it happens in America) is a day I’m not online. It’s especially on Instagram and Twitter where I follow Americans, and those feeds respectively tends to explode with pictures of fathers and father’s day love. I just can’t, not anymore.
Marsh writes how he gets surprisingly mad when he sees a tribute to a dead pet, which he finds ironic, since his son loved animals. I, embarrassingly enough, tend to get surprisingly irritated (not mad) when I see a tribute to a distant, super old relative who’s just passed away. I know it’s completely irrational, stupid and selfish of me, but there’s always this voice inside my head that says ”well, at least it wasn’t your parent! It wasn’t your dad.”
Marsh writes that while his heart might have hardened somewhat due to the death of his son, it has also softened.
I’d like to think that mine has softened too, I am even more attuned to other people’s pain and I reach out a hand if and when I can. I try to no longer sweat the small stuff, even if that’s hard at times, I do my best. Because, while it might sound cliche, life is short. Marsh writes how he’s come to appreciate the admonitions we’ve all heard a thousand times. I agree, for the first time they really mean something.
Do tell the ones you love that you love them while you can, and savor every day you get with them!