Note to Self

A few weeks ago, I helped a woman with a life insurance policy for her husband. He's dying in hospice.
He wasn't expected to live and I ran full-force into the questions that she had for me and got loose end not only tied up but locked down, sealed, and stamped with today's date.

She came to my office today because she wanted to meet me and she brought the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and we both cried.
She noted how young I looked and asked how I could already have lost my dad (which she knew because I'd shared that her situation is a little personal, due to my dad's untimely death).

Her son is 16, like I was when my dad died, and I told her something that felt more right and honest than anything I've said in a very long time.
I told her to not be concerned if her son doesn't "get it", the enormity of the loss he's going to have and the literal hole that will be in his life at every personal milestone, every wedding, every time he's too drunk to call his mom but needs to be parented and soothed.

When you're a teenager and you lose a parent, especially your dad, I think that you don't get it for a long time, if ever. You get that life is hardly infinite. You get that this is sad. You get that you're different now.

But you do not understand the weight of the loss. Smaller children who are still read bedtime stories, or who still lie awake, secretly, listening for their dads to come home are immediately and obviously effected by the loss of a father.

When you are older and you have a family of your own, or a job, or a very special pet, you are effected because you understand immediately what you've lost.

As a teenager, you don't really want your parents around, at least not on the surface of your top-layer of emotions. You don't want them to die but when they do, it's such a weird thing. You're expected to be kind of a grown-up but then you're coddled and really...
you don't know what is going on.

But you learn along the way. You learn that you can't call you dad to help you with your car payment. You can't decide who will stand with your mother at your wedding. You have a hole and it's been there for a long time, half my life almost and you

But I helped this family and they thanked me and it's such the reminder that I needed to get - I've been reminded to miss my dad - Bob the Person, you know? I've been reminded to go home tonight and think about him, light a candle even. I've been reminded that I know about this dying thing, that I know how weird it is.

So, I guess the appropriate thing for me to say is "thank you."
But I've just been thanked, so that doesn't feel quite right.
I guess I'll just leave it open .

arizonasarah at 12:39 p.m.

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