There is a particular time at the end of the day - right about now - when my brain refuses to think about anything aside from what is.
And on times like this - like now - the only thing that goes through my head is that my father is gone.
Not the practical implications, because those are ever present every minute of every day.
But the purely emotional vacuum left inside me. The emptiness that I can't even explain. That just can't be filled, no matter how hard I try.
And this is when I yearn with every fiber of my being to touch him again. To sit with my arms around him and put my head on my shoulder and sleep. To lie down next to him in them middle of the night while his warmth seeps in and sooths away my nightmares.
Without him I feel empty. Like I have lost not only someone who I loved most in the world - and I did - but like I have lost a huge part of me in the process. I don't know who I am anymore. I, who swore that my identity would be decided by no man, never realized how much of me was - and is - formed, shaped and forged by my father. The only man whose name I will ever carry. The only man I have belonged to from the moment he held me in his arms - his first child, his only daughter and the one being on this earth he indulged all her life.
And a part of my brain still struggles to accept the ultimate, unchanging, ever present reality: that he's gone.
That I'm never going to see him again, never going to hear him again and I'm never going to touch him again.
And I hurt, more than I've ever hurt before. And the real difference is, there's no daddy to hold my hand like he did the day I got my first ever stitches, look me in the eye, smile at me, and tell me it's going to hurt but it's going to be okay.
Because its not. And I just can't come to terms with that. Not now. Not ever I think.