I’ve been pretty blessed in my life. I have lived a life full of love and yet, I’ve never really experienced loss up until this point.
My wonderful Father-in-Law went home to Jesus on the 10th June 2017. It’s still hard for me to say those words. It’s hard to believe his fight has finished. He is finally at peace.
It’s not very often where I find myself at a loss for words. I usually have plenty to say (sometimes too much even!) And, yet, somehow this loss has taken away my ability to speak.
I have a web of emotions going through me and yet, I don’t have the strength to craft them into words. Maybe this is grief?
I feel guilty for living so far away. I feel guilty for not being able to comfort my in-laws when they need it the most.
In addition to my own web of emotions, I don’t know what to say to comfort my wife. How can my words even begin to make her feel better after such a horrible loss? Will I let her down if I don’t say the right thing?
I struggle on how to explain death to my children beyond saying he’s in heaven with the angels. They say they miss Grandpa like they miss me when I is away. Do they understand the difference?
As a dad, I still have to push on. I still have responsibilities. I still need to “keep it together.” The world still moves around me. The bills still need to be paid. The dog still needs groomed. The kids still need taken to school. I still need to try to sleep…which has been next to impossible since I received that heart-wrenching phone call.
I feel this expectation to put on my “Super dad” cape and carry on when inside, I feel like I’m falling apart.
In the midst of doing my “dad duties,” my mind wanders. It wanders off to him. I can’t focus. I remember his voice. I remember his smile. I remember his love for golf. I remember his undeniable love for his daughter (my wife.)
I’ve been blessed to have him in my life for 23 years. During this time, we’ve created some great memories together. During this time, I’ve gotten a glimpse of the man who raised my wife and made her who she is today.
However, I can’t help but feel regret in that my kids didn’t get to know their grandpa better than they do. I feel regret in that we didn’t make more of an effort to come visit while we still could. Regret.
I know the time will come, when these feelings will lessen. There will be a time when I come to peace with how I feel. It will become less raw. Less painful.
But, until then, I’m going to allow myself to feel this loss. It’s part of healing. It’s part of moving on…it’s part of feeling the loss.
I feel a smile creep onto my face as I realize, my Father in-law is teaching me yet another lesson even as I’m picking up the pieces right now. I can feel him telling me to use this as a reminder to make time for the people in my life who are special to me. He’s encouraging me to nurture those relationships. I want them to grow and flourish with no regrets at the end.
So, once life simmers down a bit, this will be my new focus. For him…for me….for my family. I’m known for finding the good in things. So, this is my good in this bad situation.