5 months… Who am I? How will I mourn?

5 months ago my daddy was here, well, his body was still alive at least. I look back at where I was a month, two months, three months ago, and where I am now, and I see myself in a completely new space. I am healing, or, at the very least, I am moving forward in the world, doing things to honor my father’s memory, doing things to honor my life.
I have been thinking this week about what happened 5 months ago,
5 years ago this Shabbat, my sister celebrated her Bat Mitzvah. We came together as a family, happy, healthy, energetic, loving each other. We sang together, led services and celebrate life and Judaism. This year, I am reading the Aliyah I read for her bat mitzvah for the first time since that Shabbat. I have a feeling my dad will be listening to me and beaming with pride and joy just as he did then.
5 months ago my identity changed, I became a mourner, a girl whose father was no longer there to hug her, support her, praise her, love her. I became the girl who cries in the back of the room, the girl who speaks of her father in the present tense and immediately changes it to the past.
What’s more, is that 5 months ago i began mourner, but only now do I consider myself a mourner. 5 months ago i had an expectation of what a mourner is, of what they do, and others had that same expectation of me. I shouldn’t go to movies, I shouldn’t listen to music, I shouldn’t celebrate, I shouldn’t cry in shul, I shouldn’t talk about him all the time. I was expected to mourn as the tradition prescribes, and yet, surprisingly, I didn’t find that to fit my mourning needs.
So, who am I, Eve the mourner? How will I mourn my daddy in a way that works for me? I will live my life, and dedicate my learning to him. I will cry when I miss him, and mostly, though you won’t know it, I am the girl who cries, because she wishes her dad could see all that she loves. The girl who cries because of the missed opportunities, or because she is sad that she won’t get to share the joys she is experiencing with her daddy. I am the girl who mourns openly, publicly. I am the mourner who some days wants nothing more than to speak about her daddy, share his life with others. And other days, wants nothing more than to cry in some one’s arms about the deep pain that never leaves. I am the mourner that will live life and enjoy what the world has to offer as a way of honoring her father.

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