I’m a member of a club I never wanted to join

We’re currently sitting Shiva for my dad, the Jewish ritual week-long period of grief and mourning, and while it’s been a therapeutic way to deal with the grieving process  it’s also brought home the fact that I’ve unwittingly become a member of a club I never wished or even conceived I’d have to join; those who lose a parent. And, it SUCKS. It literally sucks the oxygen out of your body. It feels hard to breathe. It feels like a large chunk of who you are; your DNA, your touchstone, the person who has been with you since the very first day of your human experience is no longer tangible. You can’t just pick up the phone and hear their voice, you can’t wrap your arms around them and envelop them in a bear hug, you can’t tell them how much you simply adore being in their presence. You are simply out of time. 

Even though I know my father’s body is no longer inhabited by his soul, it was still so difficult to have to leave his graveside. I kept petting the dirt, smoothing it out, not wanting to leave him there. I’ve never felt this type of loss, it’s as though something inside me died too, the day we buried my dad and no amount of food, prayer or self reflection can fill that void. 

I’ve never felt the sting of death in this way- or comprehended the type of finality it entailed. I so desperately want to believe in any deity, religion or culture if it means that I get the opportunity to see my father again- to feel the warmth of his smile, to have someone call me Mel, to just feel a love that is so unconditional it nourishes your soul and gives you contentment on every level. I want to say that I know he’s in a better place now- but I’m selfish- I want him in my place I want him, here, now. I hope this is not our last goodbye.


  1. says

    I'm so very sorry for your loss, and my thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time. Your father will always always be with you. xoxo

  2. says

    I can only imagine and I'm so so sorry for your loss. Time heals all wounds but you'll never stop missing him. As for me? Yes, I do think you'll see him again.

  3. says

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I hope that your memories of him help you find some comfort. I lost my father when I was 10 and the wonderful memories I have of him always bring some happiness despite how sad it is that we ran out of time.

  4. Jennifer Lee says

    So very well said. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you will see him again too. Believing is the only thing that gets us through these times of devastating loss.

  5. says

    I am SO sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you had such an incredible bond with your Dad. I lost my father suddenly from a brain aneurism when I was 25, but I wasn't as close to him as you were with your Dad. Sending love!

  6. says

    I'm sending you hugs Melissa. I also lost my dad so I know how hard it is. We were very close. It's been 16 years and it's still hard but it gets a bit easier. If you want to talk, you have my number . XOXO

  7. says

    very sorry for your loss. I lost my dad about 8 years ago, and it still hurts to think about it. But certain things I do or hear during the day seem to bring me closer to him spiritually. My dad's departure was part of the reason why i created http://www.ShivaGuide.com which has a lot of information and free services. I hope it helps.

  8. says

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    While I (thankfully) don't (yet) know what it's like to loose a parent, I know what it's like to grieve, my daughter was born without a heartbeat two months ago. We also sat Shiva, for me it lasted a month. What a healing time, just sitting there, living the grief.

    Wishing you peace and warmth,

  9. says

    It’s a very very hard thing, and you are right, part of you actually did die. What I found as time has gone by since my mother’s death is that another part of me was born that day as well. I didn’t see it at first but nonetheless there appeared my mother in me again and again, in a way that brought her up, not in sadness but in joy. Remembering something from the past and seeing it appear in the present, through you, is a very happy thing. You will get there and you your dad will help you.


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