This is me not writing. This is me not reading. This is me trying to avoid anything that brings me too much joy because he will not be here to tell about it.
This is ridiculous.
They call it missing because it’s a lack. Where you used to feel, now you don’t. But you remember the feel. You are reminded constantly that you feel differently now. You don’t have a way to that feel any longer. No route. It sits with you. It’s not a negative, a nothing. It’s as tangible as the original feeling. A place where something should be. A lack that turns into a hunger. A want to replace what was. When missing was knowing. You used to know. Now you’re not so sure. Couldn’t say for sure.
For a long time, I did not think my father’s absence defined me. I did not think it was That Big of Deal. I knew that wasn’t what anyone wanted to hear. But I recognize this feeling now because I realize how much my missing has defined me. How much it has shaped me. How much it has brought me. I have always known what it is to miss. I didn’t realize how well I knew it until now. Now that I have been reacquainted. I was raised by this missing.
My best friend left when I was four and that missing was like waking up one morning without oxygen, without sunshine, without. It was like waking up and never falling asleep again.
I had to carry on with that missing, but joy is hard to recapture once it escapes. It’s why I was so productive. Why I was so bored. Why I tried to be everywhere but where I should be. I spent all my time trying to get it back: I wanted to remember to forget my aching.
It wasn’t like grief. Grief takes no prisoners. Missing is a life sentence. Missing leaves you with just enough to keep you from fully feeling undone. How do you commit to that?
I try to pull back into myself. Try to remember what that was like, when it was just the world and me. How we did it before. How we do it again. It’s egregious having to be reminded. It’s a release finally recognizing it for what it is. To have a name for the thing.