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Memoir Nonfiction

I Still See You

What May 21 means in my life

I considered writing a piece today. Then, I thought better of it. What I began to write was a bit depressing sounding. And, I’m not feeling very depressed at the moment. Nor do I want to head in that direction. So, I stopped writing. Instead, I point you to a few pieces I’ve written over the years on my blog.

May 21 Is My Dog’s Birthday, Not the Day My Dad Died

Today, I will get out and do the simple things. I will play with my dog and treat her extra nice and rub her belly a little more than usual. I may call her a chump or a peterhead and take a walk to the pond and back. That’s what my dad would have done. Because May 21 is not the day my dad died. It’s the day my dog was born.

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Sometimes Sadness Feels Happy

My son reached over on his nightstand and brought up my dad’s old brown leather billfold. My mom had given my son this memento not long ago on a trip home to visit. I remember my dad’s wallet well — the too full block that etched a hole in the bottom left corner of his back pocket, stuffed with cards and to-do notes he had written himself during his life.

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My Dad Died, But He Is Not Dead

Something kids of dead parents know is this: it gets better, but only when you accept the pain and look the suffering in the eye and ask, “What do you want me to know? What is it you want me to know?” That’s what I’ve come to understand since my dad died.

It’s only then things get better. You can try to run from it. You can try to hide from it. You can push back against the pain all you want; you can drown your sorrows in alcohol, religion, work, or exercise; but until you look it square in the eye, it will always have the upper hand.

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By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.