The end of the year always feels like turning the last page of a chapter in a book. Turning the page and starting a new chapter. Leaving the last chapter behind.
I don't usually get too sentimental or melancholy about the end of the year and I didn't expect this turn in to the new year to be any different. But it was. And I wasn't prepared for it.
As I sat thinking about closing the chapter of 2012 I couldn't help but think about my dad. A lot of things happened in the year 2012, but losing my father will of course be the one that sticks out the most.
The end of the year brought back the pain of losing him. It felt in some way like I was saying goodby to him again. In turning the page and closing the chapter of 2012 it was like forever leaving my dad in 2012 ... because he isn't, and will never be, here to see another new year. He will always be linked, and staying in 2012.
Moving in to 2013 is creating that much more separation and distance from him. It is moving on, even though I've been doing that every day since July 12, 2012. Moving on to another year seems somehow more significant. It's moving on to the new year without him. I didn't think that would hit me as hard as it did.
Next weekend we are going to FL to cheer Joe on in the Disney marathon. The date of the half marathon (the full marathon was full by the time Joe registered) is exactly 6 months since my dad passed away. We will find some time during that short weekend to go to Cocoa and visit my dad's grave site...which will be the first time going back since his funeral. This means I will also be seeing his headstone for the first time.
I'm trying to prepare myself for that. But much like seeing his obit in the paper for the first time I don't think there is really any way to prepare for seeing my dad's name on a marker signifying his burial spot.