So many people have told me that this grieving process is in steps. The problem is I don't know how to grieve and I certainly don't know the steps to do it. Right now, it's just this incredible emptiness I feel all around me. There are still tears. Especially at church. Especially there. He was such a big presence there. He tried so hard to not be but he was. So many times I could see him out of the corner of my waiting to shut the double doors to signal the start of the service. Then all of a sudden he would be quietly shuffling down the outside aisles to check the thermostats so that everyone would be comfortable for an hour of worship. He then would sit for awhile beside Mom and me. Not for long though. Someone late would be coming in and he was up and to the back to help them find a spot to sit. Then he would check the ladies in the nursery to see if everything was alright. Then he would slide back down by Mom. These last few years when he would sit still for any length of time, he would fall asleep. Mom would nudge him and he would fumble with his bulletin or write her a note that said, "I was just resting my eyes a minute." Then after communion service he would get up and assist with taking the trays to the library for the nightly service if anyone needed it. Then he would head to the office to stand by the locked door while the secretary counted the contribution. A few minutes later he would appear again but may be be sitting on another pew. Resting his eyes again. There was another silent signal that he responded to when service was almost concluded. He knew to get up and open up the back double doors. Then he would come back to "our" pew and sit. Just briefly because he had to be at the doors greeting people as they left. When everyone had cleared out is when his work really began. He refilled all the bathrooms with new rolls of paper, soap and hand towels. All four bathrooms. He made sure he was the last one out so that he could be assured the doors were all locked properly.
So, see. I see him everywhere. I catch glimpses of a shadow standing at those doors out of the corner of my eye a million times during the service. I see him everywhere. But, I turn and no one is there. I would give anything to turn around and see my Daddy standing there. All handsome and dressed to the nines like he always was. The longest month of my life just completed. The one without my Daddy.
No one is doing all the things that he did. No one has noticed it yet. Oh, they notice he is not there but they haven't noticed that the things he did just a few weeks ago are not getting done. They will.