Six months is a long time with no contact. No letter in the mail. No scrawled birthday message in a card. No familiar voice on the other end of the line saying “Hey, Patty, it’s your dad”. No more bantering about politics or sharing new discoveries in science or hashing over the latest Twins scores. No more quoting movie lines or exchanging funny quips. No more connecting over the most recent journey in faith.
Our lives here on the prairie are so average, mundane, really. So in one sense, very little has changed in six months. But, upon reflection, much has: new people entering, kids graduating, jobs changing, lives evolving. And he’s not a part of it and it breaks my heart. And we miss the everyday-ness of life with him. And if we miss it, I can only have a vague sense of my mom’s profound loss. And indeed, the missing–the separation–breaks all our hearts.
Except his. He’s fine. In fact, dad is more than fine. He’s complete and full; his very existence and heavenly breath an act of worship. I’m sad, my mom and sisters are sad–our husbands and kids are sad–for our loss, but not for his. He experienced no loss when he left this earth. He gained everything in his last breath. We experience separation while he beholds completion. And even as I type and reflect, how can I, then, continue to be sad for me? He went from suffering to Joy! He moved from decay and death to Life! As his gravestone proclaims, my dad is Alive in Christ!
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
And again, death has a way of putting life into perspective. How can I use this day, this six month anniversary of his death, as a time to mourn? When truly, it’s a time to rejoice for him and revel in the Hope of Heaven!