In memory of my dad.
Eight years ago today my sister called to tell me that our father had died unexpectedly. I can’t remember anymore whether I was coming or going but I know that I had spent the morning in a fog. And I had a weird feeling of uneasiness that morning (as I did when my brother died unexpectedly almost exactly one year later). Little did I know. Fortunately for me, my friend Anne was waiting for me downstairs when I left my apartment. And on that strange day eight years ago, I couldn’t have been happier to know I had a friend nearby.
I feel extraordinarily lucky that I have so many amazing people in my life that I call friends. I work side-by-side every day with a dear friend who inspires and motivates me. I now live in Brooklyn one flight up from a dear friend who is always there for me. Tonight I’m taking Baxter to a friend’s house — someone I’ve known for nearly 20 years and with whom I’ve shared some of the most fun times of my life. This week and weekend I get to see a lot of my dear friends in San Francisco. Yes, I’m lucky. This I know.
But no matter how much love and happiness surrounds me, there are days like today when I just want to be sad and embrace my sadness. I want to curl up into a ball and cry. And not in a feel-sorry-for-me-because-I-lost-my-dad way. Nearly everyone I know has suffered loss at some point. My loss is not unique. But everyone deals with grief differently, and I’m no exception. I’m OK being sad. I’m OK crying. I’m OK talking about it. Because once I get through it, I have a much different perspective and am able to better appreciate everything around me. That might sound weird to some people. I’ve been called worse.
The last six months have been an incredible time of change for me. All for the better but change is never really easy, regardless of the circumstances. I think that’s why this anniversary is particularly hard. My resolution this year was to try to be more present in the real world. To become more connected to my family. To be a better friend. To be a better teammate. I realize I can sometimes have a tough exterior. It’s gotten me far in business. It’s held me back in life. I’m working on it. I bring this up because it was my own stubbornness and tough exterior that led to me not talking to my dad before he died. Although he died somewhat unexpectedly (he wasn’t healthy), we weren’t really talking when he died. That’s something I’ll never get back. And I regret that. More than I can articulate. More than I want to articulate.
All I can do now is embrace the life I have. It’s a good life. Remember the times when I was a daddy’s girl. Those were happy times. Honor his memory. He was a good man even if he didn’t always know how to be a good father. Continue to make him proud. And that I will.
Life is so strange. The cycle of life is weird. Things happen every day that can immediately change your perspective on things. Yesterday I heard someone say “we’re dying a little bit every day” and while that might sound to some like a negative thing to say, it’s the truth. And rather than think of it as being negative, we should all remember that so that we’re able to make the most of every day we have here on Earth. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last decade, it’s that life is fucking crazy short.
Don’t feel sorry for me today that I lost my dad. Feel happy for me that I have a good life. I’m OK. Emotional? Yes. That’s my middle name. But emotions are good. They’re healthy. You? I think you should stop what you’re doing and reach out to the people you love. Hug your kids extra hard when you go home tonight. Tell them you love them. It’s important. And it’ll mean the world to them (even the teenagers). I promise.
Rest in peace, pops.