Monday, May 05, 2014

11 YEARS GONE: MY DAD

Well, on Friday I wrote a post called Weird Week, and indeed, it truly had been.  I felt unexplainably sad much of the day.  Later that evening, I realized that it was May 2nd.  My dad passed away on May 2, 2003.  I had thought about it earlier in the week, but the truth of it didn't hit me that day until early evening.

I talked to my mom that night, and she was telling me about her own melancholy day.  I reminded her of the date and she, too, suddenly realized its significance.  It is amazing the way that our minds/hearts/bodies process that emotion.  I think the week was more strangely heavy for me because it brings back so much, when I really stop and think about it.  That is what 11 years has done for me.  I'm still sad and missing my dad, but everything seems punctuated differently.  May 2nd came and almost went without major fanfare from me, which would have been hard to imagine the first couple of years.

Everyone processes grief so differently.  I have been reminded of that several times in the past year - especially watching and hearing from my dear friend Kristin who lost baby Branch last December.  One thing that she told me from their grief therapy is that everyone has a "Bucket of Tears" regarding their loss.  It has to be poured out at some point, whether that be before, during or after the loss (that is, if you know the loss is coming).  I feel like every year that passes, my Bucket of Tears becomes smaller.  I don't often feel that I need to cry about missing my dad.

But, that doesn't mean I don't miss him.  I read somewhere else where someone compared losing someone to losing a limb.  You get used to it - you do.  You learn how to do life without it.  You even go on to thrive in life again.  But, it is ALWAYS gone.  A large chunk of you is missing.

When I think of my dad now, one thing I always think of is the love he had for me.  He loved me fiercely, and he loved me well.  He encouraged me towards excellence.  He believed I could do absolutely anything, and I know I would not at all be who I am today without that foundation.  He knew me so very well, in some ways, probably better than I understood myself at the time.  I get that now that I have my own children.

And now I really miss the love he would have had for my kiddos.  He would have adored them.  I really don't know how Heaven works, but I hope he gets glimpses from time to time.  Thinking about that will help me pour out this year's Bucket of Tears.

Afterlight
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(These pictures all taken today - Violet at lunch and the others at the park, where we picnicked for dinner.)

Last year, I wrote a series of posts about losing my dad - I'm going to relink them here.
{Remembering My Dad} - actually from 2011
{On Losing My Dad: Legacy}
{On Losing My Dad: 10 Years}
{On Losing My Dad: What Not to Say}

I can look back without the biting pain that I used to feel.  I can truly be grateful for the 22 years I did have with him.  I can talk about him with my kids without it tearing my heart out.  And, ultimately, I can be thankful that I will see him again someday.  What a hope we have in Jesus.

2 comments:

Kristin Murdock said...

Oh Carol this touched my soul! From one mourner to another :: you are loved. Another grieved mother that I know {she lost her college-aged son just a few months after Branch died}, told me, in response to me saying I hoped God showed Branch just a tiny glimmer of the love that is here on Earth for him -- "I am sure God shows him a HUGE picture, Kristin. Why would He hold back on such a good gift." Somehow, I believe it. God is SO good, and Heaven so marvelous, and I am absolutely certain He shows your Dad all of his lovely grandkids, his beautiful children, and his beloved wife -- and all the good things each of you are doing for His Kingdom.

Love you!!!!

Carmen Smith said...

From one daddy's girl to another... I love this. Thank you for sharing. xoxo