Dear Dad,

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5 years and 2 days ago, the idea that you wouldn’t be here anymore was unfathomable.

5 years and 1 day ago, I kissed you goodnight and whispered that if you needed to, it was okay to let go.

5 years ago, you did.

Grief is not something that you just deal with, or cure, or resolve.

When you are not done loving, grief lives inside of you forever.

I was not done loving you.

After 5 months, grief is still expected. It shows. Your smile is forced. Your eyes are tired. Your face, older. Your posture, defeated.

After 5 years, grief – somehow feeling less justified – turns you into the master of restraint. Grief becomes soundless screams into pillows and silently crying yourself to sleep. Hiding tears behind sunglasses when certain songs come on. Deep, muted breaths while you stare at the ceiling during tough movie scenes. Using the shower as a disguise for the kind of emotion you can’t choke back.

But after 5 years I am still just as angry as I was the day you told me that this time, it was terminal.

Some things, you can’t ever accept. Some things, I don’t think we’re meant to.

Last year I walked down the aisle to the love of my life, without you – my first love – on my arm.

Instead of cracking corny jokes and sneaking appetizers before cocktail hour, you were framed in pictures on a table.

I had to write you a love letter on the back of our programs, instead of you writing us a toast.

Instead of sitting front row, grinning wide with teary-eyes, there was one empty seat and we all bowed our heads in a moment of silence.

And I was taken by complete surprise when after the first dance ended, your brothers stepped onto the floor and each took turns dancing with me in tribute to you.

This is not how it was supposed to go.

I was not done loving you.

But we did it anyways.

And it was magical.

We all laughed and we cried and we danced and we ate.

And you would’ve loved every second of it.

 

 

Love,

M.

 

 

 

 

@tennisonweddingfilms

www.tennisonweddings.com

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