It is that time of year again. The anniversary of my dad's passing away. And today, like every single day for the past 6 years, I can't believe he's gone. It's so unfair, and such a terrible waste. It was too soon. I still had so many questions, so much to learn from him, and I still needed him and his recognition, his praise.
I still do. And in many ways I feel fundamentally, existentially lonely,
I recently re-read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (HP III) reading it to my 8-year-old daughter this time. (Well, reading parts of it, actually, as she reads some of the chapters by herself) One of the conversations between Harry and Dumbledore stuck with me. It is towards the end of the book, when Harry realize that he didn't just see his dead father, like he thought he did. Instead it was himself he saw on the far side of the lake, protecting him from the dementors.
He tells Dumbledore about it, and the headmaster says these words, which might be of comfort to all of you who have lost a loved one:
"You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him."
An then, once again I let Josh Groban sing this song which says the same: "Maybe you're still here".
To all of you who feel like you are left behind and don't see the road ahead: