Jealously, a feeling that I am oh so familiar with, one that has kept me from moving forward and has put a strain on many relationships. This feeling noticed an opening in my life and decided to fulfill that position, much to my dismay.
When I heard the news that my father had taken his own life, it became hard to comprehend that he was no longer here. That night, or morning I should say, I remember my mind drifting to the idea of the future I could no longer have. I thought of the boyfriends he would never get to meet, the aisle he would never get to walk me down, and the grandchildren he would never get to hold or make laugh. Those very thoughts kept me up for many nights to come and when they did leave, they made sure to leave me with a few tears as remembrance.
The first twinge of jealously that I felt was during Shiva when I saw my uncle with my two young cousins. He was playing with them and giving them hugs and feeding them cookies and as I watched, all I could think about was the fact that my dad was dead. Gone. A citizen of heaven. I eventually told my mom was I feeling and she told me to go upstairs and take a break from the bustling crowd.
Another time, I was sitting in my mom’s room with my sister, my aunt, and my cousin. Her phone started to ring so she answered it and it was another one of my uncles. I could hear his voice through the screen, loving and kind, just wanting to check in on his daughter. He may have been trying to reach my aunt, I do not remember. What I do recall was he ended the conversation by telling my cousin he loved her and she said it back to him. My sister walked away, but I sat on that bed, lost in a multitude of emotions. My cousin said she was sorry, though it was no one’s fault, but the impact had still been made. In that very moment, I longed to hear my father’s voice and to get a late night phone call from him saying, “Goodnight, sweetie, I love you.” Even a text would have sufficed because that would have meant that he was still alive. It was in that very moment where an impressive force of jealously knocked me off of my already unbalanced feet.
My father has been gone for a little over a year, and I could recall a thousand times where I was left feeling stunned with jealously. Holidays, birthdays, shopping trips, vacations, even Tik Toks. Knowing all that I had and all that I have lost, I am envious of so many families, especially the ones closest to me. Jealously is a hard emotion to put into words because, yes, we can say that we are jealous of something, but it runs much deeper than that. With jealously comes all different kinds of thoughts and with jealously comes power.
However, when we give into our jealous thoughts, we are feeding it and making it stronger. We are letting it consume us, envelop us in a storm of perception. There are aspects of my personal life that I have changed, so I do not always experience this feeling, but jealousy will always be here. I will always be left itching for my father to come home from a long day of golf and wrap me in one of his famous hugs or watch the Country Music Awards in the living room and try to guess who won in each category. I have learned to accept that those are no longer possibilities in my life.
I love my dad more than anything, but he has taken so much from me, and I will be damned if I let him take away beautiful relationships that I have had long before he passed. It may not always be easy, but no one said that life was easy either.