I wish I knew where you were. That would make life a whole lot easier right now. This is one of my true challenges; to understand what happened to you after you died. Over time, I am making sense of Life and obviously I need much more time to comprehend it. But how do I understand the mysteriousness of death – my precious dad’s death?
Yes, I know you had cancer, it ravaged you, overtook you and you died. That is painfully obvious. But why at this stage of your life, top of your game and a young 70 years of age … why were you required to take this step? Similarly in Life, I am attempting to grasp the reason, the purpose … “the lessons” of Death.
As we gathered around your bed in your last 48 hours, we were all perplexed as to what may be on your mind and what you could see, as your eyes constantly flickered and you mouthed words and sentences. It was fast and continuous for hours and hours, this flickering. It looked exhausting, however you persevered, you had things to say and you were resolute. But you were not talking to us; there was no eye contact with us. You were clearly having a conversation with someone, something, somewhere. Some of the nurses thought it was brain synapses, speculating that the cancer may have traveled to your brain.
Many people came to your bedside and held your hand, spoke soft words to you during the flickering episodes. I was there and barely left your side for a second. Do you remember? What brings me the most comfort is that I firmly believe that during these last hours, you were creating a path. You were forging through your life’s journey and resolving what required resolving. The flickering lasted for a long time. I do believe you achieved some kind of resolution, and that is why you passed away the next day. You negotiated, resolved and then surrendered. What does not make sense to me is that it was apparent that you did not want to surrender. I often wonder if you were fighting for your life during the flickering episodes, attempting to convince God that you were worthy of staying longer — bargaining for change. A chance to fix, or redo what had been done, whatever that may have been for you.
I have read several books about dying and they often say a spirit of peace comes upon the person who is about to “pass” to the Other Side. I did not see that in you. During the last few weeks of your life, I saw despair in you … that you were losing your battle, the desperation; your longing to stay here with us.
I remember one day asking you what was behind the tears and you said: “I will miss you.” I never thought of death that way before. At one point during your struggle,you did not know what was on the “Other Side” … or even if there IS the “Other Side”. And if by chance there was not, ALL the people you love would not be accessible to you any longer. What a powerful realization I had that day.
Although I am relieved that you accomplished some resolution, that does not mean I don’t feel selfish sometimes about being here without you. If I could comprehend the mystery, perhaps it would take away the pain, the anger, the disappointment with Life. I am also disappointed in myself, as I am not an angry person, but I have been periodically angry since you left us. Lately, the anger creeps up and surprises me. As do the tears. It is difficult for me to see other daughters with their Dads’ especially when it is plain as day that they adore each other.
Ironically, through these phases of grief, I have gradually begun to accomplish much, as I know these emotions are temporary and I am determined that they will not consume me. For a spell I think they did consume me and I acknowledge that I did linger in that dark place. And as I slowly learned to shine a light in those dark corners, now I am propelled forward. I know that this commodity called Time is precious. I am waking up each day thankful for what I have and if I am so granted more of IT, I am committed to spending it wisely. As this is one of the biggest lessons you taught me, Dad. “Spend it wisely”. I will strive to use this as an overlay for all of the layers of my life, not just financial decisions. Where shall I spend my time, my energy, my focus? I will achieve my goals. I am realizing my dreams. I am discovering my Life’s purpose. Rather than needing to be committed, I am committed, I am steadfast and I am getting centered. I am becoming me.
I know there are things that you wished you could have done; places you yearned to travel and explore, a business you wanted to open, numerous dreams you held in your heart. I am sad these things did not come to fruition for you. Therefore, the undercurrent of all of this is that in many ways this experience inspires me to do fulfill my Life’s purpose. Because in fact I do know you are here. As the veil thins, I realize that you are the Facilitator who propels me. I have felt it; I have felt your presence. That is how I know you will be witness … I know you will know.
Wherever you are.