James Alec Fraser:
03/18/1950 – 10/31/2004
fIt’s been 17 years to the day since I started my morning off with a phone call saying he was gone. 17 years of growing into myself without a father to teach me things and guide me. 17 years of trying to reconcile happy memories with bad ones. 17 years of trying not to forget.
After a while though, it’s hard to remember a person, even someone who’s a part of you. I have so many memories, but they’re more of the moments, less of the man.
He died when I was 24, before I was even a fully formed person myself. I know things about him but I never really got to know him because at that age I barely knew myself. So much of that deeper knowledge comes with growing older together. Of course my knowledge of him has holes in it. Our relationship had holes in it. I moved halfway across the country at 13.
Lately I’m doing such a deep dive into my life and where I’ve come from and when I think about Daddy he almost feels to me like someone I imagined. I want him to be real, but if he was real then why is he not here? Why did I have to grow up without him? If he was real, why can’t I call him? Why can’t I get fatherly advice instead of having to just learn all of the things on my own?
Grief is not a linear healing journey. So today I will do the thing I did 17 years ago, paint my face and hand out candy to the kids, while hoping they have much more time in their lives to make memories than I did.
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