"He lays in the ground", I want to say and "he visits me in my dreams", "he is around us always" and "there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think of him", "it's still so very hard", but what I end up saying is: "he died 3 years ago- he was a computer guy". They say they are sorry, and I mumble something about how it was a while ago and we are doing fine. I hold my breath frozen to see if they will ask how he died so I can be mentally prepared, and if they don't ask then I breath a sigh of relief and the moment passes. And if they do...well, then I need to decide just how many details to provide and how much of my true self to reveal. It's like needing to be prepared for a surprise exam every day, at any time, anywhere. It's exhausting.
This week has been especially difficult with Father's Day fast approaching. I guess I shouldn't be surprised as this is the 3rd one without him, but it still takes my breath away. It does with every "cute" advertisement of a father dancing with his daughter, or a father and son baseball game. It did when I saw the sign-up sheet on my son's preschool door for the Father's Day Ice Cream Social and the list of names followed by a Yes/No for attending. And it does when my son and daughter blow the dandelion seeds and I catch the whisper under their breath "I wish Daddy was back alive", and I have to remind them for the zillionth time to wish for things that can really come true and that don't go against nature. It knocks me down. Flat. On my face. Till I'm blinking back tears. It's gotten a little easier to get back up and breath again, but the ache remains. The bruises never heal. I just learn to cover them up better.