The Worst Part of Grief

Dad's hat

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.