No, It's Not You, & It Won't Be Again

I see people who make me think of my dad everywhere. Reminding myself that it isn't him is hard.

Grieving teenager stands alone in a dark hallway.

Everyone has little things they do that's unique to them. How they smile, laugh, everything that makes them unique. There were probably hundreds of little things that my dad used to do. Those things, which I used to take almost no notice of, suddenly were everywhere after he died. How his footsteps sounded, how he would say good morning to me from the end of the dining room table, and so much more.


The night after my dad died, I slept over at his house. In the afternoon, as I was sitting on the couch, I heard someone walking into the dining room. Oh, it's just dad, I thought. And then I remembered. No, it wasn't dad. It was just someone else there to see my family.


As I was getting ready for bed, I heard someone come up the stairs to say goodnight. Dad must be going to bed early, I thought. It was just a family member, though, and not my dad.


When I went downstairs the next morning and heard someone in the kitchen, I automatically assumed that it was my dad, getting tea. But, it was not him.


Even over a year later, there are still moments when part of me assumes that it's just my dad in the other room, walking down the hall, or doing anything remotely familiar to him. And it still hurts when I realize that it's not him, less and less each time.


Every time I hear something that sounds like my dad's cough, footsteps, laugh, or anything else that he used to do, it takes me a minute to remember that no, it's not him, just someone like him. Somehow, it's the little things that I miss the most.


Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Rene Böhmer.

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