Losing a Parent

The cliche you hear most, especially in a small southern town, is that The Lord works in mysterious ways. That has proven to be true time and time again in my life, and for some reason it always comforts me in times of adversity and pain. Right now my life is full of adversity, and more than my fair share of pain, but I know that there will be purpose in it somewhere.

Today is Wednesday. One week ago today, my dad left the earth to be in heaven with his mom and dad. And the day after tomorrow, we bury him next to them. I never expected to find myself in this position, and I never knew it could hurt as bad as it does. 

46 year old men are not supposed to suffer massive heart attacks and leave behind their three children. It just doesn’t seem right. At 23, 19, and especially 17; the last thing you expect to happen is losing a parent. Especially in such a sudden way. But, it happened. It cannot be undone. 

Last Wednesday, my dad was just taking a shower. One minute he was cleaning himself after a long day at work – where he’d just received a promotion – and the next he was sprawled out in the living room floor waiting on an ambulance. Then in an ambulance waiting on a careflight. Then laying lifeless in a hospital bed… 

Life doesn’t follow your expectations. God doesn’t follow your expectations. It’s never without meaning, though. I have to keep telling myself that there is a silver lining to be grasped, that it’s not all bleak. Without that glimmer of hope, I would not like to live in this world.

I’m broken inside. A lot of people are not seeing that part of me, but I am heart broken. I wish I would have called him more. I wish I would have told him I forgive him. I wish I would have made more trips out to see him. But there is no changing the past. I have to remember all of the card games, the times he sang to me and played the guitar when I was young, the moments of love and happiness. 

I’m staying constantly busy. I’m planning his funeral, making phone calls, responding to messages. I’ve done almost every preparation by myself without even being asked. It’s the only way I can keep myself sane. I’m teaching myself to rely on the people who I love, something I’ve never been good at. I’m letting people help me and tell me everything will be okay.

I’m doing anything I can so that I can close my eyes and not picture him laying lifeless with a tube down his throat. Trying endlessly to remember him alive and happy. He was always full of life and playing around, joking and singing. That’s what I want to remember.

Death doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t seem real. I’ve dealt with it so many times in my short life, but it never gets easier to understand. It only ever gets more painful and causes more disdain and animosity, but it just keeps coming. Maybe someday I’ll learn to accept it better.

RIP Daddy. I love you.