Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Five years ago today, my father passed away. It is a very hard day for me, I inevitably go back to that awful day in 2006 and start reliving each and every hour of that day to the minute. As a result, I am a wreck and even though it’s just past ten in the morning, I have already burst out crying twice already. Releasing that sorrow and hurt helps, but at the same time it shows me that nothing can erase the markings and effects of such an awful event in one’s life. No, it does not get much better with time, and no, I can not understand how it was God’s plan for this to happen when it caused so much hurt to my mother, my brother, myself, my nearly 90 year old grandparents who look at me with so much sorrow in their eyes and whom I know have never got over losing their son at such a young age, and his siblings who have all taken over my father’s role in helping my brother and I if we ever needed something. My own take on the whole situation? If for 364 days a year life is quasi-normal and even though you remember your lost one for some brief moments each and every day, on that one day that marks his/her passing, it all comes back to you with such force and feeling, that you wonder how you can ever make it through the coming days. But you pull yourself up and start rising again, because that is what your loved one would want you to do after all.
I re-read last year’s post, and I can easily cut and paste that whole entry into the space here. The feelings are still the same. But there is also something new this year. Maybe it’s due to the changes I am going through myself at the moment, and the new situation I am living, but along with the sorrow and pain, today I have the very strong feeling that I am not alone. I am reading my cousin’s messages, my friends’ words of encouragement and my brother’s expression of my own feelings on the internet, and I am grateful that they all knew him well enough for them to write these beautiful words, words which today are my saving grace.
But most of all, I feel his presence with me.
When my wedding day was nearing, I was terrified that I would have an attack of sorts – burst out crying, make a scene or miss out on enjoying a day I knew he would have wanted me to make the most of. However when that day came, from the moment I opened my eyes, I instinctively knew he was with me. He was holding my other arm when I walked down the aisle with my mother, he was cheering A and myself with the rest of our loved ones, and I knew he was looking onto me with so much love and pride that not for one single second did I feel a pang of sadness. He might have been physically absent from that day, but his presence was so strongly felt by myself, that I knew that day would be as perfect as it could be, that I had his blessing and that he was giving A and myself his nod of approval. So while I obviously missed him being physically absent from the whole event, I strangely feel as if he did not miss out on anything much because he was with me all the way through.
Not only on that day, but on each and every day since his passing.
I got married, I moved country and I am now expecting his first grand-child. I miss sharing all my tidbits of information regarding the baby with him and I can only start to imagine the extent of his excitement during this beautiful time. So I talk to him, I tell him everything I would have normally told him were he still here, and it comforts me to know he is listening to my words. Albeit in a different way from usual.
So along with the normal emotions this day brings, I want to remember this year’s marking of his passing, in a different way than usual. I am remembering the good times, the funny episodes, the jokes we sometimes played together, his acts of generosity, his words and phrases which pop in my conversation every now and then, and mostly his extraordinary character. Not being one of many words, the few he said were always spot-on and to the point. One look from him would mean a hundred words, and he was true to everyone he talked to. He was a gentleman, my personal hero and though I may cry a couple of times more during this day, I will also be aware of the gentle pats he will be giving me on my back every now and then, to let me know that I will get through the day because in reality, he is still with me.