Grief is currently my least favorite accessory, hanging on me, inanimate and heavy like an overly large purse or an ugly necklace that I can't take off. My grief is usually silent but it siphons off my focus, my energy, my drive in constant, tiny increments.
When grief does speak, it nags me that maybe I'm not sad enough. That this fine day, the one that passed without much thought for my dearly departed, isn't rightly mine because I'm not sufficiently mourning. Prove your love, it says. You're not sad enough.
I don't break down when I look at photos of my dad or hear a story about a dad dying or talk about my dad or do anything directly related to my loss. I feel guilty for moving easily through moments that by all rights should make me cry. What is wrong with me? I think as I gaze dry-eyed at his photographed face.
My day-to-day life is not uprooted by his absence from this earth and so it seems as if nothing has changed. The service is over, the obituary has been put away, the photos are back in their albums.
Life, my life, goes on.
Then grief sneaks up quietly and grabs me by the throat at moments when I least expect it, like when I read an article he'd like or I hear a deep man's voice singing behind me in church or I see my youngest daughter curl contentedly into her dad in a way that I suddenly, viscerally, remember.
I want my daddy and he's gone.
Through my tears I am sure: I'm sad. I'm sad enough.