Mourning the mundane
Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that I’ve neglected to post in a very, very long time. Suspend your disbelief and read right past this disclaimer as if time wasn’t a construct and the last 2+ years haven’t been insane.
Today marks 9 years since my dad died. N-I-N-E years. Nearly a decade. I go back and forth over how impossible that is and how much longer it feels. When your heart shatters into a million pieces multiple times in his memory, it feels like there’s no label for time that fits.
I’ve been doing some IRL, old-school journaling lately and with today looming, I’d begun my usual list of things my dad wouldn’t be here to see (assuming they happen):
- When I buy my first house
- When I get engaged
- When I get married
- When I have children
And I inevitably think of all of my life’s milestones that have happened, that he hasn’t been around to see:
- Moving to San Francisco
- Changing jobs (a few times)
- Dating T (a few times)
- Turning 30 and 35
And I think of all of the things my mom and brother and nieces and … everyone! The milestones that have made up so many of the last 3,000+ days. The holidays and anniversaries and births and deaths and promotions and trips and all of those fantastical puzzle pieces that make up the experiences we all go through in big ways.
And then I thought, what about the mundane?
What I wouldn’t give for one more conversation with him about nothing. One more ALL CAPS EMAIL because typing one-handed was incredibly hard. One more urge to switch off Guy Fieri but letting dad have his pick of shows this time.
What I wouldn’t give to have any number of the most routine, bland, unimportant, ordinary, everyday, unexceptional, run-of-the-mill moments with him again.
Because (and I’m neither the first nor last to discover this) those moments are what make up the puzzle as well. They’re the things we don’t often celebrate or stop to appreciate. Which is understandable, when you think how incredibly tedious it would be to pause after every one of these micro moments. Or, if everything feels special then nothing does.
But if we pick one every once in a while – an inside joke, a conversation, a silly text, even a maddening email – it might make it easier to mourn the mundane long after they’re gone.