Last week was the worst week of my life. Only hours after I published this post, Mom called Kris and me from the hospital in tears, telling us we needed to come. I’m not even sure how I managed to pack a bag, but with David’s help I was out the door in less than 20 minutes. I drove the 3 1/2 hours in total silence, letting the gray skies and intermittent pouring rain fit my mindset.
I’m not ready to talk about that day yet, but I will tell you that the four of us got to be together. We got to say everything we wanted to say, and so did Dad. While Monday was the absolute most gut-wrenching day of my life, I am incredibly grateful for it at the same time.
Dad passed away in the early hours of Friday morning with Mom by his side. I’m grateful he got his wishes that when there was nothing else to be done, that he leave this world as quickly and painlessly as he could.
In some ways none of this feels real. Despite being fully aware of his diagnosis and his recent prognosis of being given 2-3 months, it still feels like it was so sudden. The week before we were all together to celebrate his birthday. Two days before he went into the hospital with excruciating pain he walked two miles and washed the car. My heart can’t make sense of it all.
I’m still processing how everything unfolded and trying to figure out how to live in a world that doesn’t have my dad in it. There is so much I want to write about him, to share his heart and his passion for helping other people.
I want to tell you about his path from priesthood to private practice and how he positively impacted so many people through both. We promised him we would carry on his 60’s-loving-heart’s message of peace and love and his Zorba the Greek way of living life and enjoying it.
I plan to do both of things to the best of my ability, but right now, I’m just a girl missing her dad.
We have experienced an outpouring of love. People sharing with us their favorite memory they have with dad or how he impacted their life have been incredibly healing. Deliveries of flowers and food, cards and texts, emails and comments, hugs and wise words have been silver linings that I don’t take for granted.
I’ve never hurt like this before and somehow knowing I’m not alone in my grief really does help provide some cushion to this pain.
My heart can’t write much more about this right now, but I have to first tell you about my mom. No one can love like this woman. For the past week, and for the 41 and a half years before that, she loved Dad with the purest, most supportive kind of love. They have that storybook love we all dream about. While I am missing my dad, she is missing her best friend and life partner. I don’t believe in comparing or ranking pain, but I ache for her.
In the same vein, I’ve received some beautiful words of encouragement and some quotes that have spoken to me- thank you. This is one of my favorites:
“Death ends a life, not a relationship. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on- in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.”