by Grace Korynta

“Your dad took his own life this morning”

Words I never thought I would hear coming out of my mom’s mouth

Yet there I was


Sitting to the right of my mom

On a bench at the beach

Waves rolling in

As my face flooded with tears

My sister to her left

My mom’s arms wrapped around us both

As she tried to hold us together

While she told us the most horrific thing

I can’t imagine that feeling

Having to tell your two daughters that their dad died that morning

“Your dad took his own life this morning”

Words that I can still hear

Brought back to that moment in time

Clutching my mom and sister in one hand

The bench with my other

Knuckles turning white

Face burning from my tears

All I wanted to do was scream

To die

To not be there

To not hear what I just heard

For it all to not be real

I remember once in high school I wrote

“As the waves blended with my tears, I wished that I was gone too”

My mom asked me then if that was really how I felt

And I said yes

Sometimes, yes

When it all gets too heavy, yes

When all I hear is

“Your dad took his own life this morning”

Over and over in my head

And when I can’t turn it off

Or shut it up

Then yes

It has been thirteen years since that day

And sometimes I feel stupid for still being sad about it

Sometimes I feel really alone

Like I’m the only one still grieving

And I know that isn’t true

But grief can feel suffocatingly isolating

And honestly

All I want is to hear his voice again

I’m afraid I’m forgetting what he sounded like

To hug him and smell him and hear him laugh

Or to see him smile

When all is said and done, it’s the littlest things that you’ll want to remember

That you’ll miss the most

Dad, I miss you so much

On that Wednesday sitting on that bench

I felt the sand in between my fingers

& I thought to myself that everything stopped then and there

Finishing elementary school

Making it to middle school

Graduating high school

It all felt impossible, unreachable

If he wouldn’t be there to see it all happen

It felt pointless

Not to mention, falling in love

Or getting married

Or one day having children of my own

I would give anything to hear a conversation between my dad and my husband

And all the little beautiful moments

Like a tulip on the side of the road

Or watching Tatis Jr play baseball

All of it

All that life has to offer

Suddenly became stained with grief and covered in sadness,

Even the most beautiful things

Because now he wasn’t going to be here to witness it

Or experience it

Or live it

But I’m slowly realizing

Thirteen years later

That maybe just maybe

He’s still here

Just different now

Maybe he lives on in the air that I breathe

In the love that I share

In the relationships that I form

All that he’s taught me

And all that he was

Is still alive inside me

& maybe just maybe

Knowing that everything that’s beautiful

Would be that much more beautiful

If he were here to see it

Maybe that in and of itself, is extraordinarily beautiful

Because now, I get to try to see it through his eyes

Dad, I miss you so much

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