Thursday, September 2, 2010

After He Is Gone

I was forced to join this group called "The Loss of a Parent".  It wasn't one that I would volunteer for, but I knew someday it would come...only I thought it would come much later in life. 

So.... you learn to cope with this season of life.   I keep mine bundled up and tied together with a ribbon called hope.  I focus, real hard, on the hope that I was given.  Sometimes I find myself hiding behind the ribbon of hope.

Then the ribbon begins to unravel. 

I think of those moments as fractures that appear in the wall of a damn.  They are small, hairline fractures, that grow steadily, quickly, until the water starts to trickle out.  There is usually some event that creates those fractures.  For me, it ALWAYS has something to do with my children, his grandchildren.

And the event is usually some medical crisis...small or large.

My dad was given the gift of high intelligence in the world of science.  He was an incredible chemist.   He was a wise, compassionate, calm pharmacist.  He loved helping people and was very cool under pressure.   Very little rattled his cage.

I'd call him with questions concerning my children before calling their doctor.  I just appreciated  and respected his opinions.  When he liked my doctor, I knew I had a good doctor!

The other day, my hairline fracture appeared.  It came in the form of Ester's pink tooth. My instinct was to call Dad.  And then I remembered that I couldn't. 

My ribbon of hope grew a little looser.

Yesterday, driving alone to get some birthday shopping in, the water came.  I drove 10 miles to Toys R Us just crying.  And it was okay.  They were healthy tears of sorrow and longing.  A pain, that no matter how neatly folded and tied up with ribbon, always comes back when you don't expect it. 

It is a pain one must experience to fully comprehend. 

I realized that with our faith, I can sometimes hide behind that ribbon of hope, not allowing myself to fully feel the sorrow.  My mom told me once that when I'm feeling sad about Dad, maybe that is him, letting me know, it is okay to think about him.... be it happy or sad.

I was just at the church office the other day, lining up Masses to be said for him.  I wonder if this was his way of thanking me for that.  As Catholics, we must always pray for the souls in purgatory. 

Writing about this is therapeutic.  In a sad way, it brings peace back into my life.

And today I continue on my season of life...the calendar says that autumn will soon be upon us, birthday joys will soon be heard in our home, and the bittersweet memories of a loved one will flood my senses into tears again.  And that is okay.

Jesus, I trust in you!


  1. I am so sorry for your loss and pain. But reading what you wrote made me think of my grandfather whom I treasured and even thought it's been almost 10 years since he left us, I teared up a little today. Like you said... that's okay.

  2. Writing through tears...the loss of my own father so close. Thanks for the post, thanks for saying it is okay to cry. My tears also usually come connected to my kids or my nieces and nephews....his grandchildren. And, thanks for the reminder to get to our new parish and get those Masses said!

  3. Okay, now I need to go get a tissue!! Prayers for you today my friend.

  4. Thanks, Ladies. The smallest triggers are what open the flood gates. Then the kids look at me, scared, when they see my red eyes. I have to reassure them that it is a good cry. Nothing to be afraid of. Today, Poppy wants us to think of him.

  5. oh what a beautiful tribute to your father. you have a wonderful relationship with him and I'm sure you find yourself thinking, what would Dad think, or say, or recommend, when you need a little advice. You know, you do have a saint in heaven watching over you, praying for you daily, and loving you just as when he was with you here on earth. and oh, the joy when you see eachother again!!!

  6. How beautifully written! My mom has been gone 6 years, and my dad almost 5. It still is hard somedays, and yes, usually because of my kids. Praying you through this!

    BTW-can you email me from my profile? I will send you my new link.

  7. My mom has been gone for over 40 years, and still there are moments that make me cry like a baby. Less now than in the past; the longing gets fainter but never goes away. I'll pray for you as you go through this process of loss. And it is a process...give it time.

  8. Sending you hugs, Patty. I have not yet lost a parent so my heart goes out to you. But I have lost a loving and dear husband so I understand the missing that lasts all of our lives here on earth. You said things so well with the ribbon analogy. Thank God for the ribbon of hope or we'd be very lost souls! Jesus love you.

  9. Saying a prayer for you Patty, and for your father! I was recently thinking about just how hard it would be to lose my own dad. . . I can't even imagine!! {{{Hugs}}}


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