It's hard to lose your father when he's been your rock, your mentor, a great pal to your husband and supporter of your marriage, someone engaged in your life who you considered to be your faithful coach, the one who helped you get back on track whenever you veered off.
Hard to lose him when he's the first person you called for advice, the man you took guidance from throughout the difficult teen years, the loving father you trusted with all your childhood angst and insecurity after he and your mom divorced.
And it's also hard to lose your father when your relationship didn't much resemble any of those things.
This grief takes on a different shape: what was, what wasn't, what should have been, what could never be. I am sad for his wife, and his sister, and mostly for him, for having gotten a bum heart that caused him a lot of problems and ultimately took his life away at the relatively young age of 71. And, I am sad for me. Sad to know that, now, there is truly no reconciliation to be had in this life, no kind words to be exchanged, no chance of even a sliver of a relationship to be forged. Ever.
I'd always kinda, foolishly counted on that. And then, my dad died.