This past Tuesday, July 14th, marked the 9 year anniversary of my dad's death. I always tell people who have lost a parent, “When both your parents are alive, you think you can imagine how it will feel. When you actually lose one, you feel like you’re part of a secret club and you realize you couldn’t possibly imagine how it would feel.”
I hurt more now than I did when he died. It’s like when you first fall in love with someone and want to spend all your time with that person. When they go away for a day, you miss them. If they were to go away for a week, you’d miss them so much more. If they were gone a month, you’d REALLY miss them. With respect to the death of a parent, you miss them more as time goes on because their presence is missed more and more with each passing day, month and year. Plus, there are more “missed” memories . . . missed holidays, milestones, events you wanted to share, questions you wish you’d asked, etc.
I actually spent the last couple of days writing a "tribute" of sorts about my dad, but now that I'm done with it, I realize it's far to personal to post. So let me give you a piece of advice instead:
If one or both of your parents are alive, cherish your time with them, leave no question unasked, no story unheard, no advice unheeded. Try your hardest not to have any regrets when they're gone.