“How are things? “, a friend of mine recently queried.
“Good question.”, I replied.
“Why?”, she asked.
“Because I don’t know.”, I replied.
The conversation continued, “Are you okay?”.
“It’s like a million balls were in the air, and now they’ve all fallen. I don’t know where they’ve landed. But my arms are tired. Is that okay?:
Losing Dad was a complete 180 departure from what happened when I lost Mom. I have said that if Mom would have liked to die “vicariously” through Dad – his death was so good – if that’s okay to say…. He appeared to be in peace. He died without pain, he died surrounded by people who loved him, he died with faith, in his own bed. Mom was in pain, in the hospital, and while my brother and Deb were there with her – there were still so many missing who would have liked to have been there – including Dad.
I get what it’s like to lose someone and be devastated and I get what it’s like to lose someone and be at peace.
When Dad passed away, there was nothing amazing that happened. There was no grand inhale, no grand exhale, no revelation, no sense of a spirit departing. I was convinced that that was it – death was death. I was convinced that there is no spirit. I lost my faith. Still, I was okay. I just didn’t want to leave Dad. I continued to hold his hand and kiss his cheek, to talk to him – I wasn’t convinced that he was really “gone”.
Not long after the doctor arrived, and then the funeral home, that I realized I was feeling strong. I didn’t break down and sob. I was okay – I felt peace. How was that possible?
Not long after making the arrangements at the funeral parlor, I realized I was feeling strong. I didn’t break down and sob. It was okay. How was that possible?
Not long after meeting with the minister, I realized that I was feeling strong. I didn’t break down and sob. I was okay. How was that possible.
On the morning of Dad’s funeral, I wrote his eulogy. I realized that I was feeling strong. How was that possible?
Dad wanted a happy departure. No tears. I was determined to not cry – in fact, I ended the eulogy by singing “counting my blessings”. How was that possible?
I know how now – well, at least I have a hypothesis. I think when Dad left his body, his spirit – whatever that is – awakened in me. How is that possible?
I had one good cry at his bedside that is now vacant – but that has been all. People greet me with their condolences and I appreciate their pain – but feel very little myself. I “miss” Dad, but I don’t feel distraught. I say Ta-ta-for-now to his empty chair, say “I love you Dad” and hear him reply “I love you too”. How is that possible?
I don’t know how I feel. But I am okay. I know when I find those balls, I will have begun a new chapter. And I know that a new chapter is possible.