Something happened the week following my dad’s death in April. Something unexpected.
I was crying one day, missing him, regretting all I had not done, just aching so badly I could barely function when suddenly this peace came over me and I felt my dad’s presence.
It’s very easy for someone to dismiss what I am saying by pointing out that I imagined it, or made it up subconsciously to feel better. Call it what you want, it changed me.
It was life-altering and comforting and I was suddenly not alone.
It was a freedom.
I was released of the negatives in my grieving and I felt much like I did as a child, running around Indiana in my bare feet, climbing trees and chasing my brothers and sister.
It was a feeling of being connected to the entire universe at once.
I struggled that day to explain it to a friend and I’m not sure I’m doing a better job today.
I wrote to my sister and told her if she could get past the negative feelings and the grieving, Dad was there waiting to comfort us. The crying and sobbing and focusing on his death was blocking his presence.
Since that day, I admit there has been a lot more crying, but more often than not, it seems as though my dad is right here…part of my life, only in a different form.
I am finding strength and faith and optimism that I have struggled to embrace for a long time. I seem to have a broader vision of my immediate world, accepting things I would have fought tooth and nail before he passed.
Life has thrown a lot on my plate and sometimes I throw it back. Situations exist in my family with a someone very close to me, two people, actually, and I’ve been angry and resentful and generally furious at those who can’t seem to get their lives together. I have more responsibilities than I asked for. I have been forced to make peace with someone I’ve distanced myself from for almost a decade. I have learned to take one day at a time and appreciate it for what it is, see the good happening that day, deal with the struggles, and get a good night’s rest.
My dad’s presence is so strong in my heart, the only way to describe it properly is to say he has merged with my life. His energy and spirit is now part of me. I never feel separated from him. I still have a tear behind the sunglasses at times, but that is my own selfishness in longing for the past. The present is alive and well and so is my dad – in my heart and my soul.
I texted my youngest brother yesterday and got no response. He worked with dad for the past few years and spend hours a day with him before the cancer showed up. I know he is hurting and I’m going to print and mail this column to him today. If he can let go of the pain, even for a minute, dad will change his life.
Just like he did when he was alive.