Or is it Hello? I’m not really sure right now. I’m not sure how I feel at the moment. I feel numb and happy and sad all at the same time. But mostly I’m numb.
My dad passed away Monday afternoon. I was at work when I got the call from my husband. Hospice called, dad passed away peacefully. My gut physically clenched. I sucked in a breath and worked to compose myself. Oh! Did that hurt! Physically hurt! I’ve heard it said, when a parent dies it feels like a punch to the gut, it doesn’t matter whether you expect it or not.
You know what…the cliché is right! It is right for a reason. It did feel like a physical punch to the gut. No one touched me. I wanted to double over in pain. I straightened my shoulders and finished one of the hardest phone calls in my life.
Then the whirlwind began again. I’m not much of an event person. I’d rather be writing and reading. In spite of that we’ve always put together our family events ourselves. This is a massive undertaking and as much as I prefer to DIY; I have to admit a celebration of life cannot be done alone.
I guess that is why throughout time, weddings and funerals have been, for the most part, community events. I have a Funeral Director running the show behind the scenes, an event planner handling the Repass Gathering, and family is picking up the slack for us.
With all the preparations there is no real time to grieve. I feel awkward telling people how I truly feel. I say, “I’m numb and happy for my dad and sad for us.” Once everything is done I will sit down and grieve. The tears will come and I will miss my dad. Through the years I have learned to feel the grief and let it run its course in its own time. That is for another day.
When dad was unresponsive and slipping away, two very wise people told me to “Be Strong.” At first I didn’t understand. Now I do. Being numb is a gift. I must be strong for my dad and the people around him. I will honor him with a memorial and support those grieving the loss. The blessing for me is God supports me with His Strength.
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. [Psalms 46:2]
God is supporting me with His strength. I can’t do this alone. The protective numbness allows me to honor my father publicly. God will provide a refuge for my grief in private. He is my refuge and my strength as I continue to walk here on earth. Here in the corporal world, I say goodbye.
Now, dad walks in the spiritual world. I am happy for him. He says hello! He walks with my sister, his mother, his siblings, and a host of saints from our families and friends. But most of all he walks with Jesus. This is another cliché I seem to be using this week. Some folks don’t like hearing me say it. I’m too tired to find another way to express this happiness I have for my dad. It is a cliché for a reason. There is a lot of truth and joy in this saying for believers.
For my father I must say it. I will say it because he is now no longer in pain. He is no longer confused. He knows who he is and where he is. He walks with his Savior. He is surrounded with family and friends.
He is in a better place. Peace my friends,