It is hard to believe it has been ten days since my dad became an angel. In so many ways, it feels like his wellness peaked just days ago. Perhaps, though, this is because of how I choose to remember him. I have had to make the active decision to remember my dad in the nineteen years of wellness I knew him, not the more recent year of illness and sickness. I remember him by his warmth and courage, knowing that is what will live on in me.
My mom and I have been asked how we are doing a lot. Honestly, we are not doing horribly as I expected would be the case. The first two days were the most difficult, but since then, we have been managing each day one moment at a time. I credit this to the amount of closure we were blessed to have received. Last year, my grandpa passed away unexpectedly, leaving no sign for us to prepare. While you can never truly be prepared for such a profound loss, you can receive peace.
We were able to take the experience of losing my grandpa (my mom’s dad) to make the most out of losing my dad. We knew the regrets we had before, all the words left unsaid and formalities left to question. With my dad, there is none of this, and that is a blessing. We had ample time to share our love with one another as well as to properly prepare future business procedures. We talked about everything I could ever think to talk about, and for this, I do feel blessed.
There has been something quite amazing that has emerged from our despair: stories. Stories of my dad when he was young, stories of the last couple years. People have shared so many stories of him that bring me the greatest smile. Before he passed, my heart was too heavy to speak of the good times. I now realize this is a magnificently powerful to sustain his legacy. There are no bad words to speak of him, and this inspires me.
Another reason why we are managing better than expected is because of our faith. We know without having to ask questions that my dad is in Heaven, closer to us now than ever before. He is living in a world without his hauntingly painful cancer with so many of his beloved family members. At the same time, he can still live with us, protecting us, guiding us, loving us. My dad is in Heaven, and while I wish he was on Earth with us still, I know Heaven is where he belongs . . . and where he has always strived to go.
While I am confused, hurt, lost, overwhelmed, you name it, I am also peaceful. I am surrounded by great love, from Heaven and Earth. This brings me ultimate comfort. I keep thinking back to the Toby Keith song, “Cryin’ for Me” where he says “Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I’d do it all again / So play it sweet in heaven because that’s right where you want to be / I’m not cryin’ cause I feel so sorry for you / I’m cryin’ for me.”
The coming posts will be about the logistics of loss, and I will resume my normal Monday / Thursday posting schedule. Thank you for all of the prayers and love you all have sent my mom and me. We have received it all with open arms.