Upon my kids urging, I got Snap Chat. I think I’m too old; I don’t get it. I mean, I get it. But I don’t. Josh said “Mom it’s just like texting with pictures.” Hmmm. Ok. So now I’m walking around and looking through “snap chat eyes”. I looked out and saw the sun against the storm clouds and thought Dad would love this! I should send this to dad! Oh. Wait. I can’t send it to dad. And I can’t take a goofy snap chat with him or instagram or any other photo with him. Ever. Again.
And the tears came, just like that, in a torrent.
No more pictures.
No more new book titles in his library.
No more movie quotes.
No more funny, quirky dad quips to send us into fits of laughter.
No more poignant, sage wisdom from the faithful scholar.
It is hard to lose a parent no matter the age. I know I’m 47, but he was my dad and I loved him and he loved me and I miss him more than I could’ve anticipated or imagined. And I don’t know if losing him when I was 57 or 67 or 77 would have felt any easier.
As the year anniversary of his death approaches, the pain of separation feels new and fresh.
This week in American Lit, the kids discussed Emily Dickenson’s “death poems”. It was fine until the teacher started delving into the lesson a bit deeper and started talking with the kids about death-bed vigils. I’m sure it was a great discussion and got them thinking and pondering, but I wouldn’t know because I left. One boy started to share his story of loss, and I knew there was no way I’d make it through without crying, so I left.
I left and cried and missed my dad and remembered sitting by his side, just a year ago. Just a year ago his hands were still warm, his heart still beating, his tumor-ridden lungs still taking in oxygen. Just a year ago I could still talk to him and listen for a response. Just a year ago, we–my mom and sisters and I–could still kiss his brow and hold his hand and share sweet precious moments by his side.
My heart literally aches and the tears obscure my vision and the lump in my throat grows. I know it will be ok. I know I’ll continue to get up and go to work and care for my family and live my life. But the ache of separation remains.
Aching hearts, searching for comfort, we all struggle with the pain of loss. Maybe you grieve the loss of a dear one or perhaps it’s the death of a dream or the loss of innocence or the trauma of betrayal or the pain of a lost and broken relationship, I don’t know. But I do know that your pain is real and the need for comfort and healing is valid and necessary. Did you hear that? It’s ok to admit pain and seek healing. God is the Master of Redemption and no matter your hurt, I truly believe “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.“