Today feels really hard in a different way than the last seven days have felt. Last week was emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing. My sister and I spent a lot of time in the car, driving from place to place to place. We spent a lot of time making difficult choices and phone calls. We read suicide notes, planned a cremation, and saw our father’s body for the last time.

Last week felt like it lasted a lifetime.

But this is a new week. My father’s body is at the crematorium and his remains will not be picked up for another week. There is no funeral to be had and I need a break before we plan for the family reunion we will have in its place. I’m back at work. The calls and messages are slowing.

But I still feel really drained. The world is already moving on, but that feels impossible without my dad in it. How does the world keep spinning after you lose a parent?

I’m sad but I’m numb. I feel like my body isn’t mine. Putting one foot in front of the other has become mechanical. The breaths I take feel really heavy. Sometimes I catch myself whispering “Dad…” at my steering wheel, talking to someone who isn’t there. I’ve cried in my office. I take the time to look up at the stars and, even though I don’t consider myself spiritual, I’m really hoping he’s out there, somewhere.

Some people say that your trauma makes you stronger. I’m not sure I believe that, but I do know, my grief and the loss of my father has forever changed me.

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