September came in hard for me. My dad died on September 1st. It was sudden and unexpected and rattled my world.

I was present when he crossed over. I believe God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, and upon reflection, I realize that all my training led up to me being able to be present for him.

The clinical training in me kept me focused on him once I assessed what was happening and realized it was happening faster than anyone thought.

And the daughter in me, the little girl watching her daddy die was too much to process so I pushed her deep, deep down in my being, and told her to stay there until I come to get her.

It feels like a nightmare. The time since then has me doing a lot of internalization about how I handled it, dissecting the relationships intertwined around it.

I thought I knew who I was. I thought I knew what my relationship was with him. But was it a skewed perception, twisted into something I wanted it to be versus what it was in reality?

I asked myself this as I dissect all the other relationships of all the ones around who loved my dad.

Grief is an unpredictable beast. One minute you are functioning in your life, then BAM! A smell or a song or a glance of a photo hanging on the wall or a memory brings you to your knees on the floor in a puddle of tears.

I wanted to have more conversations with him. I wanted to ask him ‘what will be the sign so I know you are around?” But time didn’t give me that luxury.

Instead, I am processing. Questioning my every relationship with everyone in my life. Asking myself “Is it real? Or is it something I think it is because I want it so badly?”

The answer is. Yes, it is real. It is all real. And it hurts like hell on earth.  Yet, I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been there to usher his spirit to the great beyond. Thank you, God for trusting me to be one of the guides that day in releasing him from the bondage of his pain-filled mortal body.

I know enough to know that I cannot go get that little girl I stuffed deep down, by myself. I will need guidance and courage from a pro and we will go get her together and let her know it’s okay to be sad for a little while. It will get easier and it will never go away. I will practice living with the loss and I will get better at it every day.

I miss you Dad. I love you forever.