Archive for January 2nd, 2020

As this new year approached, my heart grew heavy.

The close of 2019 reminded me that it is the final year my family and I will have lived with our dad, husband, grandfather, friend. 2020 (and the years to come) will not be shared with him … his story ended in 2019, last year.

For some reason this turn of the calendar made the finality of his passing more real than those last moments at his hospital bed, the wake and funeral, even more real than the committal service at the graveside.

It leaves me and us lonely for his presence, his life. It makes a new year, without him, unimaginable. The life that he brought to our lives has left an empty space … a silent pause in a song, an ellipsis (…) at the end of a sentence.

Happy New Year …

We can struggle to say those words, but their message is lost on those trying to imagine a new year, a new day, without one they loved … love. To move into this new year, to own and accept it, to write it on paper or speak it from our lips … well it’s another acknowledgement that it’s really real … that he is gone … and he isn’t coming back.

It is as if accepting the arrival of this new year relegates our loved one into history. As if, while we move forward into the new year, into the future,

his life, he has been left behind, in the past … by us.

It is interesting to me how little comfort faith can be when such grief weighs one down. It is not that I question the existence of God, or heaven or eternity … it is that the loneliness is such that none of that matters, for the selfishness of loss and grief is temporal … now.

It is not, I want the best for you, dearly departed … it is purely that I want you back … selfishly, for me.

For, you see, in reality, my grief is not that my father has been left behind in the years past, but that I, we have been left behind, by him. He, who has always been there for me, for us … he, who had never abandoned us, who would never abandon us … he has gone on, and left us behind … to move forward without him, without the security and direction and unconditional love that he always represented.

We walk forward into this new year, this new future, knowing that we are leaving him behind, that we have been left behind, by him.

Forward is the only way through grief, but lifting ones feet over the starting line is agony.

“Recovery can seem like a betrayal. Passionately, you desire a way back to the lost object (person), but the only possible road, the road to life, leads away.” Hilary Mantel

“He heals the broken hearts and binds up their sorrows.”
Psalm 147:3

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