Today is my dad’s birthday and the second birthday we’ll be without him, so naturally he’s been on my mind all day. Since he passed, I’ve started therapy and had some time to process his death, his life and our relationship. I still feel so much regret and guilt for not spending more time with him; for nagging him to drink more water and eat healthier; and for rolling my eyes at his jokes instead of laughing. Why couldn’t I just relax and enjoy the time I did have with him? Why did I keep putting off trips I promised we’d take together? Why didn’t I tell him more often just how much he meant to me?

Sometimes, little things will remind me of him and I am stopped dead in my tracks to laugh or smile and sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by feelings, that I just start sobbing. Then (thanks to my therapy work) I remember that it’s okay to feel and let those feeling out. My sister will also remind me with a simple text that our dad was so loved by all of us and the pain lessens ever so slightly, I feel a little less guilty.

I’m still grieving and that’s okay. It helps to talk about him and about how I feel. I know how much I loved my dad and I believe he knew that until the very end.