Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Final Words With My Father

I had never lost a loved one before. Throughout my life, I had often wondered what it would feel like when one loses someone close to you. Would I cry? Would I grieve? Over these last four days, all my questions were answered.

It's been a tough week with my father passing away the day after Boxing Day. Twelve hours ago we said our last farewells and buried him. There was nothing easy about this. It was so strange seeing my father's body in his coffin and yet knowing that he was no longer there.

It has amazed me how many people loved my father. It gave me a whole new appreciation for him. My mother held out pretty well. She had been praying for God to take him home and thereby ending all his suffering. He answered her prayers. The service was simple and beautiful. I had the opportunity to carry out his eulogy. After the 83 years my father spent on this earth, it became my responsibility to tell the people in his circle of loved ones about who this man was. It was an honorable job that I was to carry out and I believe I met the challenge. I really believe that he would have been proud of me.

It was a beautiful sunny day as we proceeded with the interment. It was as if the Lord had parted the clouds and was smiling upon my father. We went away sad and yet joyous knowing that it was a celebration of my father's life.

It is now 4am New Years Day as I sit down and carry out this post. Despite ending the year off experiencing the sadness of the loss of our father, I look forward to the new year with the joy of knowing that he is no longer in any pain or suffering.

I returned to his grave site alone in the cover of darkness to retrieve a couple of the carnations and a red ribbon bearing the word "Dad" which my sister and I placed at his grave site. I stood there and talked with him alone one last time. I took the opportunity to say things to him that would have been too private and too difficult to say to him while he was alive... I really believe he heard me. I really believe he would have understood. I really believe he was smiling at me as I made my way home.

47 comments:

Palm Springs Savant said...

Dave- new visitor here,but saw ou on cheryl's blog comments.

My condolences to you. I lost my dad when I was 13 or so, and it was so hard for me. I still think about him to this day, and its been over 25 years since he died. I miss him but he is always with me.

Take care of yourself.

-rick

roentarre said...

Dave, this story is definitely heart felt. I felt your writing very touching.

My dad passed away 9 years ago and I missed the way he discplined me but also played a role as a good Dad.

Thank you for reminding Dad at this new year!

Akelamalu said...

You can be sure your Dad is still with you. The love you shared will never fade.

Wishing you A HAPPY NEW YEAR and everything that's good.

Jules said...

I am sure he heard you Dave.

A friend once said something to me when my Grandmother died suddenly and i was regretting not returning a phone call she had made to me two days before her death. My friend's words were incredibly comforting "Don't regret what you haven't said, she knows it all now."

I truly believe this and I hope it gives you some comfort too.

abbagirl74 said...

Oh Dave. I am so incredibly sad for you. I hope this new year will be warm and bright for you. Happy New Year dear friend.

beachgirl said...

Happy New Year Dave!

Your reflection on your Dad's funeral, viewing etc, reminded me of my Mom's 17 years ago,. Hard to believe it's been that long. I never knew my Mom had so many people who cared about her. The funeral home was packed to over flowing for 2 viewings. She was a nurse for 20 years. I think as children we all need to see that and see the other dimension of our parents. It gives us a new appreciation of the person we loved as our parent.

May 2008 bring you peace and understanding.

Carol

Cheryl said...

Like you, I had never lost a family member. I fear that my father's time is near, and wonder how I'll handle that. I know the passing of my mother will leave the biggest void in my life. What I do know from friends I've lost is that they're always in my heart and my thoughts. It will be the same with your father. I think you'll have many more words with him.

Gudl said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts like this.
It touched me deeply. It is a good reminder, too, that death and life go together. Your Dad had a long life (me Dad died when he was 72)...that is something to be grateful for, too.
Have a Happy New Year!

Lilli & Nevada said...

I know your dad heard you, that was such a nice thing to do for you and him to say what you couldn't before. I am sure he is so proud of you.
God Bless you
And now the New Year begins

Colette Amelia said...

Dave I believe your dad is smiling down on you and thinking yes that is my boy and what a wonderful boy he is.

Have a wonderful 2008.

leslie said...

Dave, I came over from Josie's when I saw that you'd suffered a loss. My Dad passed away just this past Sept. 21 so I know what and how you're feeling right now. All I can say is that soon you will have just happy loving memories of the times you had with your Dad. Whenever he comes to mind, grasp on and think of him and then he will be right there with you. And sometimes he will be there and you'll be surprised - it happens to me and I always just smile and say "Hi Dad!". My condolences.

Sandy said...

I have this visual of him smiling as you make your way home. I had so many confirmations of the connection continuing beyond death, that I have no doubt about that.

I know it's not a happy start to 2008, but like you said, he isn't suffering anymore and that is a great thought.

Now the healing can begin for you, your mom and others who loved him.

All the best to you Dave. Thanks for sharing about your difficult day. I had been wondering how it was going.

sandy

heiresschild said...

hi Dave, i think it's good you talked to your Dad when you went back to the grave. leaving nothing within really helps down the road. i'm glad it was a beautiful celebration of life service, and i pray God's continued peace and comfort for you, your Mom, and the rest of the family in the days to come.

I PRAY ALL OF GOD'S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN 2008. MAY YOU CONTINUE TO GROW IN HIS LOVE AND GRACE, AND BE BLESSED WITH ALL OF THE ABUNDANCE THAT HE HAS FOR YOU!

peace & blessings,
sylvia

simonsays said...

Oh, how I understand.

(((Dave)))

Hammer said...

It's good that you are able to have some closure. This was a very touching post. I wish you all the best in this difficult time.

HelenMH said...

Thinking of you. Losing a parent is such a hard thing.

Wanda said...

Dave, what a beautiful post written from your heart of sadness.

I have laid both my mother and father to rest, and have experienced the very feeling you have now. I have visited their graves, and even though I know it is only the shell of their bodies there, I have wonderful conversation with them. It's been part of my grieving process.

I would have loved to hear your words at your father's funeral. I know you made him proud.

Dave it's been a pleasure meeting you this year and I look forward to many more time in 2008.

God Bless you and your family. You are in my heart and prayers.

Mama Keith said...

Dave my heart goes out to you and your family. I know that he heard those special words that you said to him and about him. Even if he doesn't hear them personally, God will relay the message ;).

God Bless you and yours in the new year to come.

Janice Thomson said...

A very touching tribute again to your Dad, Dave. I know he was smiling at you as you walked away - you are such a wonderful son. May you find strength and a peace as you move ahead in the new year. Thinking of you as always in the coming days.

mago said...

My condolences to you and your family.

KOSTAS said...

Dave
Make courage and supported also her other members your family that him needs.
It is hard you lose beloved persons, but, thus it is our life, it has also her hard moments.
Make courage, and in 2008 be luckier and full health for you and your family.

KOSTAS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
smilnsigh said...

I am sorry for your loss. But glad that his suffering is over. My best to your mom.

And hope you will live your New Year with the joy, which I'm sure, he would want you to.

{I saw your comment in 'Champagne Taste' blog, and came over to say a small message.}

Mari-Nanci
US

Andrea said...

Very touching post. You making this post is part of your healing process. There will be a lot of sad days. A lot of first holidays and special days without him. Each year gets a little easier but I do not think we ever totally get over the fact we have lost a loved one. You are in my prayers. May God bless you as you face each day. Just hold your precious memories of your dad in your heart.

Neva said...

My prayers are with you.....may this year be happy for you and yours.

Joyce's Ramblings said...

Dave, I think you wrote a great tribute to your father. I hope you grieve as you want to. I know that everyone grieves their own way and no one can tell you how. There will be good days and bad days but I hope the good are more than the bad.
I buried my dad two years after I buried my mom.
I had already buried a husband. It doesn't get easier but it does get better.

LUIZ SANTILLI JR. said...

Dave.

My condolences to you.
In this moments, there are no words to said, only the silence!
I wish that 2008 be a very happy year, for you, his wife, children and family!

Santilli, from Brasil

Madeleine said...

I am so sorry for the lose of your Dad.

Its just so heart breaking. No matter what our relationship is with our parents, when they are gone, we then realize just how precious they are.

I will be praying for you.

And have a holy and peaceful New Year.

austere said...

I'm sorry.
Peace.

Lara said...

what a great tribute! praying with you - I know how that feels... just think he's in Heaven...

Monika said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure he would have been proud of you.

Julie said...

Dave - again, new visitor, but my thoughts and prayer.
My father died suddenly on Christmas day 2000.

Every blessing for you and the family in 2008

Oswegan said...

It sounds like it went as well as could be expected.

I am glad to hear you are looking forward to a great new year.

Cheers,

~Oswegan

David Kim said...

Dave,

Sorry about your dad passing away during the holidays. That must be extra tough. I'm glad you blogged about your experiences. I know that I'll have to face this experience too one day. Your post will help me cope better.

LeenaM said...

Dave,
you are in my thoughts.

Becky Wolfe said...

I'm sorry I didn't read this sooner Dave. My heartfelt condolences to you on the passing of your dad! What a difficult thing it must have been to see him in pain & suffering. I pray that you have many fond memories of him to cherish for years & years to come.

savannah said...

you have my deepest condolences. peace

(found you via mago)

LUIZ SANTILLI JR. said...

Dave
I have new post!
Santilli

BJ said...

Dave - linked here from Wanda. Just wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you and your family on the loss of your dad. It is difficult to lose a loved one - no matter when they are taken away. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Portia said...

Dave, My condolences. This was such a moving post, thank you for sharing.

Jazz said...

Dave, you have my deepest and most sincere condolences.

lettuce said...

Dave I'm so sorry about your loss. My mum died in May and I miss her so much, Christmas has been hard.

a life-changing experience, isn't it? i wish you all the best in 2008 as you work your way through the grieving

Seemu said...

Hey Dave,

I found your blog through Rowdy. I was really touched by this blog of yours and thought of leaving u a message.

No matter how hard one tries to console u, a loss is a loss. So all I wanted to tell u is what I have believed in. Something that has helped me stay strong in such agonizing situations.

Please check:

http://seemudiaries.blogspot.com/2007/09/belief-helps.html

Cheers,

Seema

Mother of Invention said...

A beautifully tender and sensitive post. Thanks for being so "real" in this. I have never lost anyone either and my parents are 88 and 86 so I know it is close. I hope that when it comes, I can handle it and look upon it the same balanced way you have; as a celebration of the next stage of a great person's life.

Joyce's Ramblings said...

Dave,
How are you doing? You have been in my thoughts. It is maddening that I can't think of some great inteligent thing to say to you. How are your boys?

Andre said...

As usual, I'm always the last one to catch on.

Dave, I'm TRULY sorry to hear about your father.

I won't pretend that I can come up with the perfect line for you during your hour of hardship. I just pray that God will give you his perfect peace. Stay encourgaged brother!

Here's to a great 2008!

Mme Benaut said...

I'd like to add condolences too, Dave. I know what it is like, my father died last May and although we didn't have a particularly good relationship (he should have had sons instead of 4 daughters); he is still missed.