when the ‘Is’ becomes a ‘Was’

More ramblings on grief.

2 min readFeb 12, 2024

The month of February is notoriously tough for me because of my dad’s birthday and my birthday all in a singular month. I’ve been feeling periods of joy and periods of deep heartache. In-between flights and long walks in Central Park, I’ve been writing down my thoughts:

Verbs become confusing when someone dies. What was your dad’s name? Or is it what is your dad’s name? Do our names stop existing when we die? Why isn’t there a verb for the in-between?

Sometimes I want to talk about my dad in the present tense but it makes me feel a little claustrophobic because I was there when the is became a was.

Sometimes I want to talk about my dad in the past tense because his memory feels far away. Sometimes that makes me want to talk about him in the present tense to bring him closer.

My last group grief therapy session was on my dad’s birthday and I found myself crying to my peers. Crying in front of a camera screen in your room sometimes feels silly but it was cathartic. “I sometimes feel like I didn’t do enough,” was the sentiment that filled my body. It’s a hard feeling to work through but it bubbles up every once in a while in a very uncontrollable way.

This month, I went on my first trip for work and I desperately wished I could tell my dad about this trip. I felt so proud of myself but I was also filled with an emptiness that only comes from not being able to tell someone you love something you are proud of.

~ramblings from February

I’m trying to find some peace in sharing incomplete thoughts so this is my attempt at that ❤ As always, remember that “Grief is just love with no place to go.”