7 simple rules for dating my teenage daughter
When my milkshake was gone and it was time to go, I broke down.I cried and held onto fistfuls of his shirt like I had when he first told me that he wasn’t going to be living with us anymore.Those two happy days had healed the wound of my parents’ split just enough for this departure to rip it back open.I had no idea that this would be the last time I’d ever see him, but something in me must have had an inkling, because I cried like I knew it was our last goodbye.I made friends with the homeless people in the park because their level of motivation and engagement in society matched mine more closely than anyone else I could find.My mother occasionally tried expressing to me that I should cut her a break because she now had to be both my mother and my father.
The idea of survivor’s guilt isn’t just about feeling unjustly lucky to have lived while someone else died; it’s guilt for going on without them, guilt for changing and growing and becoming a person that they never knew.Any milestone is tinged with their absence, any joy feels like a betrayal, like you’ve forgotten them, if only for long enough to laugh at a good joke or enjoy a good meal.But as long as you’re in mourning, your life is still about them, and in that way, they’re still there.I cried not just for the end of that perfect weekend, but for the next week, when we’d be back in different cities, on opposite sides of the country.
I cried for the coming summer, when I’d eat ice cream alone and wish he was there walking and joking with me.
I stopped wearing all black at some point in college, but a part of me held onto that sadness that had kept my father close.