On Death and Dying

It’s been a year today since Dad died.

Arriving at this point has been an emotional haul for us.  But, we are now at the peak and the only way off the mount is down.

I hope the journey will be quick…the trip light.  And, I pray tomorrow will begin a new season for Mom as she sees her way through another hard anniversary and moves toward the remembrance of his burial, and then beyond.

These “anniversaries” come unbidden – and truly unwanted.  But, they arrive and force us to remember and in some ways to relive what happened.

And, they force us to realize all over again the loss we suffered – as though each day lived afterward was not a reminder in and of itself.

In the days leading up to this anniversary, I’ve watched Mom grow tired, quiet, and introspective.  No, I didn’t expect her to jump this hurdle and race on toward the next.  I knew a downward spiral would begin that could not be prevented.

Some things are necessary and beneficial to the process of grieving.  We all grieve differently and for varying lengths of time.  For most, the one year anniversary is a hallmark on the calendar and a bulls-eye on our hearts.

Mom, at 85 years of age, doesn’t bounce back as quickly or as easily as she once did.  Life lost it’s spark when Dad died.

I can’t walk this darkness for her.  I walk my own today.  But, I can walk with her, hand in hand.  And, I can encourage her to talk…to share…to seek the light and not become lost in the darkness.

Dad’s life was one of light and yes, his passing ushered in darkness. But, truly, Dad did leave light to guide the way.  One only needs to look for it.

All is not lost. All is not dark. The sun yet shines.  And, even with great sadness, there is reason to live…to love…to look forward to tomorrow while glancing back on yesterdays.

Note: Mom declared Father’s Day as a day to celebrate his life and not to dwell on his death. She chose light over darkness…life over death…love over longing.

We went to church. We ate (we’re big on that) at Dad’s favorite restaurant.  We laughed.  We remembered.  We visited his grave.  We ached.  We loved.  We survived. We fully engaged the day.

And, we stepped fully with hope and determination into the light.

We did Dad proud.

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