On December 20th, 2005, nine years ago this Saturday my life changed. My Dad was killed in a car accident on his way to work. Words can’t describe what it’s like to lose someone so quickly who was doing something he did for most of his life. But that’s not what this story is about. Today I want to tell you about how I mark the occasion every year.
I take time for myself. I take the day off work. Because lets face it, I’d be pretty useless if I tried to get anything done anyways. So I spend the day on me.
I have a quiet day. No phone, no internet, no television. I unplug, focus on what’s most important, and rest.
I read a book that inspires me. Either creatively, personally, or even deeper. I make sure to get it in my hands a few days in advance so I have something to look forward to and I don’t need to go out and find it.
I do yoga. Sometimes at home and sometimes at my local yoga studio but I always make time to honour my body and soothe my mind.
I live slowly. I really try to savour the day and not let it race by. I walk slow, I eat slow, and hardest of all – I try not to multi-task.
I feast. Breakfast and lunch tend to be pretty simple but for dinner I try to have a feast as a toast to my Dad. He was from Newfoundland so lately I’ve been making a Newfie scoff – most people call it a jiggs dinner. It was one of his favourite meals. No, scratch that, frying up the leftovers for breakfast the next morning was his favourite meal.
I appreciate Darren every day. Not just on the anniversary of my Dad’s passing but every day. When he leaves the house I shower him with kisses and make sure he knows how special and loved he is.
Life wasn’t always like this.
There were years that I barely got out of bed, times I cried all day, and days I dragged myself around pretending to be normal. I just want you to know that grieving and remembering is different for everyone. Just because I don’t visit the cemetery, I’ve never seen my Dad’s headstone, and I don’t spend my time wallowing, doesn’t mean that I don’t miss him. It means that I choose to celebrate his life differently. He never wanted to see me upset, he wanted to see me happy and laughing and enjoying life. I’m not to the point where I can spend the day being silly, having a party to celebrate him, or going on an amazing adventure, but one day. Until then Dad, know that I miss you, with all my heart.