A tribute to my father, who passed away last year.
The church still shone with Christmas,
and personal touches of you were there:
A handmade quilt that you made,
plants and flowers that you loved,
recognition of National Guard duty,
saddened faces of lives you had touched.
You had been called home, and after this day,
I’ll not be able to touch your face,
nor see the twinkle reflected in your eyes
when you smile. I’ll not be able to hear your
child-like excitement as we celebrate Christmas,
the season of your birth and your death.
Yet, I did not protest or fuss;
It was time that your suffering end,
and this day, well,
it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Fifty degrees, the day after Christmas,
plenty of sunshine and blue sky.
It’s as if it were provided for our benefit,
to lift our spirits as your eternal spirit lifted.
Happy Father’s Day!
She died, and my head felt dizzy as if water surrounded me,
searching for my bearings as I struggled to accept the loss.
And then he died, and I felt engulfed in tidal waves,
ebbing and flowing between my loss and his new peace.
But I’m now caught in an eddie in the sea of grieving,
kicking to stay afloat; stroking to soothe my soul as yet
a younger family member is unexpectantly called home.
Yet I know I’ll not drown for my life raft of inner strength
keeps me afloat as I row toward calmer days.
Ah, but to enjoy the simple things again
Where grief does not interfere,
Where memories are once again pleasurable,
Where a smile comes with happiness, not obligation.
When will the pain and suffering end?
To what lengths must we go to assuage these feelings?
How long must one endure the roller coaster,
The ups and downs of emotions?
When will one step in front of the other actually
Take one forward instead of treading water?
Grief has no true beginning nor end,
Nor does it follow the same path for everyone.
The road to recovery will have potholes and bumps
Along with curves and forks to traverse.
But be assured, the grief will begin to hurt less
As you travel this journey to a new destination
Where you can find joy and a renewed self.