You know, it's a strange thing losing my dad. He and my mom are the people I've known the longest in my life. 42 years. I never "met" him; he was just always there. But along the way, I did meet him.
And in the last few years, I met my dad again. I met an old man who's body was failing, who had lost his parents, his wife, a brother, a granddaughter, a nephew, and good friends, and who struggled deeply in his pain over these losses. Our conversations started to include thoughts about the afterlife and what he wanted me and my sister to do with his ashes.
I loved my dad. And now I get to meet myself again as I experience for the first time ever who I am in the world without him.
Steven Hackett, 08/24/50 - 01/19/21, my father, my friend