thinking about my dad

When a person whom we love dies, its kind of a surreal journey & that has certainly been true for me with my dad’s death almost 2 months ago.  I’m writing, on occasion, about my thoughts and feelings about his death not to be morbid or to seek for sympathy or attention.  Instead, my intent is to help others who may be going through some grief or loss. With that being said, the first few weeks after my dad died were a bit of a whirlwind – lots of activities, people expressing concern, kindness and an overall sense of busy-ness.  The last month, however, has seemed to settle down in relation to activities related to my dad’s passing.  For me, this has been a more difficult time than when he first died.  I find myself frequently remembering cool things about my dad:

  • when I was 5 years old, he would let me ride on his shoulders when we would go to Israel so that I could see and hear what the tour guides were talking about – helping me experience the Bible in a first hand way
  • he would make his coffee uber strong & playfully threaten to splatter weak coffee all over the wall – a sentiment with which I find myself in more & more agreement ,)
  • stopping for ice cream at Baskin Robbins 31 flavors on the way home from church on Sunday nights & he always ordered (and shared with me) jamocha almond fudge 🙂
  • when I was in junior high, he would come to my basketball games, even though he had absolutely no athletic inclination.  Now more than ever, I totally appreciate what this means – watching jr high girls’ basketball can be a genuine labor of love ,)

So if you’re on a journey that includes grief or loss, I pray that you would continue to celebrate the good memories and characteristics of whoever has passed on and I pray that we can both turn to Jesus to carry our griefs and sorrows.  After all that’s said and done, Jesus loves us and is walking along this journey with us.

my dad’s passing & grief

Well, my dad passed away a little over a month ago & it’s been a weird time & kind of like a whirlwind.  Before we had his memorial service, I had a quick trip to Rome with mom & our group trip.  While I totally love Rome, my visit was a little bittersweet, as I recalled some of the times I’d been there with my dad.  After the Rome visit, we had a really amazing memorial service for my dad & we were nothing less than overwhelmed with the support, prayers, kind words & gratitude expressed during this service – completely AMAZING!!

It’s been a few weeks now since the memorial service & while I think that we (mom & I) are generally doing pretty well, there are certainly some moments when it gets difficult and sad for me.  I’m finding that these moments are really unpredictable (watching my daughter play basketball & remembering my dad watch me, driving to church to present a difficult sermon, typing this blog now, . . . .).  With all of that being said, I’m learning to value & appreciate the different ways that God is helping me and that I am not invincible nor impervious.  Jesus carries our griefs and sorrows – we aren’t designed to bear that weight.  So let’s join together & give Jesus our cares, worries, sorrows and griefs because Jesus is the ultimate Hercules 🙂

some advice when someone you love dies:

My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots.  If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:

  • be gentle with yourself and others:  losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
  • grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified:  the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
  • time versus busy:  some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
  • presence:  what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
  • encouragement:  let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
  • God:  involve God at all levels;  grief and death are not the times to pull away from God

Are there more things that you’ve found helpful?  I’d be keen for your input