It's been almost four years since my Dad died. His birthday would have been this week, and I'm so sad about it today. Recently, I've been noticing that I seem to be working my ass off in various relationships in my life and feeling sort of empty and resentful even though nobody is doing anything out of the ordinary. I have generally very supportive life and work relationships, so that shit was not really making sense. When I really started to think about what was up in my head, I realized that what I'm doing is out of a yearning for the unconditional approval and validation that relationship gave me. He wasn't perfect, and I don't have an idealized concept of him, but he always went out of his way to make sure his children knew he loved us, that he was proud of us, and that the things we did for him were noticed and mattered to him. I am having a real struggle with missing him today, unlike anything I've dealt with since the first year. And I really need to get my face together so I can go to work.