Friday, July 3, 2015

Surviving Initiation into the No Dad Club

   This blog took some time to work out in my mind and heart. Honestly, on the actual date of Father's Day, I was beyond tired and too emotionally trashed to say my name much less write a blog post. But I knew I had something brewing so I waited and listened.
    I hope you fatherly types enjoyed being pampered by your family and friends for Father’s Day. Your job is a hard one. For the great dads, I salute you every day, not just in June. For the “not so great” ones, it’s never too late. Get with the program, you got stuff to do so you too can get in on the Father’s Day stuff too.
    I have a friend who recently re-connected with his daughter, and he says often on his FB posts, “Every day is father’s day.” And I agree with this completely. I always smile seeing that message roll by on my feed. For him, for her, for the new-to-them little family they’ve created. It’s a wonderful thing to see their family growing stronger.

Unlike my friend’s daughter, my dad has always been in my life. Or, I have to say now had been in my life. So I understand the specialness of their situation. There’s not been one moment since April that I haven’t felt the weight of his absence. It’s a very strange part of losing a parent and there’s no day or card for that.
Don’t get any ideas, Hallmark.
    Still, the hole never closes. Some days the grief eats me, literally swallows me whole, and some days it only nibbles and slowly bleeds me to exhaustion.
    On Mother’s Day I sensed this crushing dread looming large in the distance. I dreaded the “day” of Father’s Day coming. Simply because I don’t need an extra reminder he’s not just at work, or out in the garden, or fishing, or gone to the feed store. I didn’t want one more reminder of how I can’t pick up the phone and call him anymore. And there’s no one to take my stupid Father’s Day card out of the mailbox and chuckle at how I signed the dog’s name to it anymore.
    Now every June my family and I will be in this crappy No Dad Club together and it sucks. Along with every person my dad’s gigantic heart touched. We’ll always be looking backwards at what he left us instead of forward because he’s not in front of us anymore.
    On my initiation into the No Dad Club, I found myself in a room full of exhausted, weepy-eyed people. But they weren't on the edge of bawling for the same reasons I was struggling to hold my crap together. Or I don’t think so since we were in the closing ceremony of UtopYA in Nashville.
    I sat and listened to people talk about how much fun, connection, love, joy, friendship and a million other awesome things they’d gained during the conference. And I felt exactly the same way. UtopYA was the one hundred percent, amazingly euphoric punch in the soul I’ve been needing for a while.
    I let a few tears fall myself that morning but it was in thanks.
Thank you for letting me find these amazing people.
    Dear Utopia Tribe, thank you, awesome people, you got me through a hell of a week in so many ways.
    For my friend, I wish him and his daughter so many more wonderful years together. Your little notes to each other have brightened more sad days than you know. Keep loving and connecting.
    And if you are in this crappy club too, I wish you peace and comfort any way you can get it.
Until then,


  1. Thanks for this post <3 And my heart goes out to you. I, too, was highly emotional on the final day of UtopYA. The overwhelming intensity of such a wondrous event mingled with the fact that it was Father's Day and I had learned my father was dying only 2 months beforehand. We actually moved him in with us 2 days before I arrived Nashville, a trip I had almost cancelled. He, of course, insisted I keep my plans and said knowing I was there would make him feel better. The bittersweet of such highs mixing with such lows is an intense experience, but I am grateful for others, like you, who deeply understand. <3

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