The Little Griefs When Someone Dies

Grief doesn’t end with the burial.

That’s the big grief.

Everyone’s there for the big grief.

Dad in his element — making breakfast.

The small griefs are:

  • Crying in the breakfast foods aisle of a Safeway because my dad used to make me breakfast sometimes.
  • Crying at work when a dad brings his daughter in for ice cream because my dad and I used to get ice cream together sometimes. Even though ten dads have been in with their kids to get ice cream that night and none of them made me cry.
  • Crying when I realize my dad won’t be at my wedding, though I never even wanted a wedding and I’m not even seeing anyone right now.
  • Crying when I realize my future SO will never meet my dad.
  • Crying when I realize my cat will never meet my dad. This one is very real and felt very ridiculous, but my dad was an animal person. He would’ve loved my cat. I have to stop talking about this one or I’m going to cry again.
  • Making dad jokes that my dad would’ve loved, then crying about the fact he’s not around to make them.
  • Remembering that time my dad and I spent two hours coming up with puns for the name of every single country on Earth. I don’t know why that memory stands out, but I keep coming back to it.
  • Remembering the time my dad got a concussion when it was just he and I at home and I was convinced he was going to die. Pulling off his glasses, tapping the side of his face, propping his head up. “Look at me. Please don’t close your eyes.” Keeping him transfixed on the TV with Spongebob playing. Him giggling, half-lucid, to himself. “Sandy, Sandy, Sandy…” He wasn’t going to die, but I was 15 and all I knew was that I wasn’t ready for my dad to die yet. When I was 20 I said the same thing, but at his funeral.
  • Crying when I accomplish things and knowing that he’ll never be around to see them.
  • Crying because things will never go back to normal. I guess when life fell apart I always clung to the notion that some magic glue would bring us all back together again. But it won’t, because he’s dead. Even magic can’t change that.
  • Crying sometimes because I don’t know why.
A script my dad wrote in high school, which I keep on my desk as a reminder to “not become a writer like him” (if you can’t tell, I’m failing miserably)

Mental Health Advocate | Writer | Aspiring Cat Lady | https://jordanyates.me/

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