I'm not usually a person who remembers dates. Yet I remember the day of my father's death the same as I remember the Ides of March and the 4th of July. All year my tears are hidden from me, and then this day looms.
When I typed the words my father's death, my fingers started typing birth instead of death, and I know, I know, that is clearly more like it.
There is a poem I used to read with my classes. It is called Spring and Fall. Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote it in 1880.
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
I believe that -- it is ourselves we mourn for.
I also mourn for the time when there is no one to miss my father.