The Drive to Forgiveness

Tomorrow will be a year since my father died. I’d like to say time flew by but it would be a lie because I agonized over every single day that passed without him. There were moments it hurt less but credit goes to the chaos that ensues in my life because chaos has a way of overshadowing grief and almost fooling you for a split second that it has left the building. But when you stop and the motion of the world pauses, the grief stands front and center reminding you that it never really left.

I am driving back to Peoria tomorrow to visit my dad’s grave and somehow I’ve managed to not think about that drive all the way until…now. As long as my mind and my feet were moving today, I was able to pretend that tomorrow is just another day. As I lay here in bed now, there is nothing ordinary about the day that will soon be before me. I am afraid. Afraid of driving back to something that doesn’t exist anymore, to a place that has lost it’s meaning to me. I’m afraid of seeing my dad’s house and the lack of alter I know will exist as if his memory were wiped clean with disinfectant. There is the fear of seeing my step-mom because my anger against her at times has almost consumed me. I’m scared of knocking on my brother’s door and having him slam it back in my face and I’m terrified that I will care more than I should. I’m scared of seeing places that will remind me of what I’ve lost instead of comfort me with memories of what I had. My heart shutters at the possibility that going back there to the place where I lost him will make it hurt even more than it has this past year. I’m afraid of crying. I’m afraid of not being able to stop. I’m afraid of driving towards something that really is nothing. I’m afraid of forgiving because I’m not sure those who need it have earned the right. I’m afraid of feeling too much and terrified of feeling nothing. I am afraid that when I stand in front of my father’s resting place, he will not recognize me because grief has a way of transforming you body and soul.

I used to be terrified of being afraid; vulnerability has never been my thing, but to you I admit I am scared.

365 days is not enough to ease the pain.


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