This was my dad’s hat. He wore it all the time. In fact, it was in the big black bag he took with him to the hospital. The same bag that I, being the only next of kin present at the time of his death, had to take home and unpack.
But his khaki-colored hat is nice and broken in. It’s covered in stains and the bill is frayed. It looks like it would be comfortable.
In the 16 months I’ve had it, I haven’t tried to put it on, but I know if I did, it would be too big for my head and I’d have to adjust it. I can’t bring myself to do that because what if I can’t find the same notch that he wore it on?
I’d like to wear his cap, but I need it to stay the same. I need it to still be his. I need it to remain part of who he was.
This is what I hate about grief. It can be so paralyzing. It can be maddening. It’s irrational.
One thought on “The Worst Part of Grief”
Grief is not a rational process, not a thinking process. It’s an emotional and physical experience. I am used to rationalizing my way through things; grief upended my rational mind and left me with this stuff, none of which made sense and none of which would happen on my timeline. So now, I still have some of his things, I still have his phone number, his text messages, his emails. I can’t delete them. I just can’t.