When my dad passed away, I felt sure that I was going to need time to adjust to the absence of his presence in my life. But today, a friend said that it must be difficult to get use to his presence in his absence. His presence in his absence. My friend had confused his words, and quickly corrected them. Through his confusion, though, I found some clarity that made me think about Dad’s presence that still remains, even outside of the sorrow of his absence.
I really have been focused on all the things Dad’s absence brought, all the voided space that his unseasonably lost life has brought to my life. I have spent months missing our routine phone calls together and the daily routine of the last few months of his care. These things are missing, not present. How can a loss so great leave you still with some presence?
My friend’s words, however, made me face the facts. I am getting acquainted with Dad being gone, which is heartbreaking to accept and comforting to make room for him in my life again too. I am not embracing Dad’s absence, but Absence and I are getting familiar with each other through that slow and awkward dance of strangeness resolving to truth. This conversation with my friend nudged me to think of how I still incorporate my Dad and his love into my daily life. It is a little easier to talk about him and his life now, even though I’m certain I couldn’t miss him more than I do today. I wish I still had him here for new memories and stories, but for now, I suppose I am grateful for his presence that still osmoses through my life, even amidst his absence. And I come to realize, appreciate and embrace that some love is eternally present.