A lot of the time I don't even think of them. They are so far removed from my life now, existing only in these vague memories that could be real...or maybe it was just all just a vivid dream. Usually when I do think of them it's in an intellectual capacity: I have x behaviour because my dad taught me y when I was twelve, and so on. A lot of the time now they are very emotionally distanced from me.
But then, every once in a while, I miss them so deeply that my body aches.
I'm starting the second year of my PhD at an Ivy League university. Do you know how proud they would have been of me? I do. There would have been a lot of "we're so proud, but we're not at all surprised!" They would have each separately written me a letter, detailing how proud they are and how much I mean to them.
Well, here I am. Working hard at being a success and no mom or dad to be proud of me.
I wish grieving were simpler. I wish it were as easy as "I feel hurt that my parents aren't here to see how far I've come." Because it's never as straightforward as that. It starts with "I wish they were here, they would be so proud" and it becomes "they have no right to be proud. They weren't here. I did this on my own. They have no right." The hurt is always so closely intertwined with the anger - when I grieve, there is just this flood of emotion. It sweeps over you, pummeling you so that you have no strength to try and disentangle what exactly you feel. And when you don't understand what you feel, it is that much more difficult to heal.
I feel like such an orphan today.