The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years. ~Edward J. Stieglitz
One year ago today, I passed the worst of all adult milestones: I lost a parent. My father, who had been sick for several years, passed away the day I left his side. After several days of holding vigil beside him, my mother and I agreed that it was probably best that I go, so I left to attend a conference in Victoria, BC. That evening, in the middle of dinner, I got the call. I will forever be grateful that my good friend Katherine was there to get me through it.
I awaited today with dread, but when I woke up, the Syrian Internet had been shut down and I found myself under a barrage of emails from journalists and things to do and write, keeping my mind off it until midday. And then it hit me: I’ve survived a whole year without you.
I talk to my dad a lot, mostly when I’m traveling or driving. Most recently, I stood along the banks of the Thames, talking until I cried about my recent travels. I think my father lived vicariously through them; I hope he’s still watching.
Aside from the usual friends and family, one of the things that got me through last December was the outpouring of love in response to my blog post – from both friends and strangers. Some of you emailed me too, and to most of you I never replied: I just didn’t have the heart at the time. Now, if you’re reading, please know: your words helped immensely.
This year is easier, I’ll be honest. At the time, I had no idea how I would make it through the next few days, but as days turn into months and months into years, you figure it out, step by step. It’s been a crazy year, and not my most sane or balanced for sure, but it is now over.