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Flipping through my alma mater’s alumni magazine (titled this time, “The Writer’s Issue”), I was searching for possible future contacts once my book is ready to promote. When I was done, I did what I always do: flip to the Class Notes in the back. I generally skip over the older people and see if I know anyone from the years I attended that are having babies, or getting married, or dying, or changing the world. While flipping to the back, my eye caught the bottom right corner that had my dad’s obituary. I remember submitting it to the university when we sent the obit out to the world, but it honestly hadn’t occurred to me to look for it, so it caught me totally by surprise. I hate that. I hate when it knocks the breath out of you for that second. I hate the tears that come unexpectedly. I hate reading the date of his death. 

I’ve been trying so hard to insulate myself from the onslaught of Father’s Day promotions, protecting myself in the bubble of my home. I avoid movies where people die. I distract myself with paint and stupid tv shows, my husband and the cats. It felt like a betrayal for the reminder to barge into my living room like that. 

24 hours later, I’m still catching my breath. Repairing the bubble. Caulking the seams. Hoping the next surprise will hurt ever so slightly less.