Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15 ESV)
When I knew my Daddy was definitely dying, (I believe he had coded 2 or 3 times by this point) as we all surrounded him in the hospital, I sang “Jesus Loves Me” and “Zippity Doo Dah” in his left ear. (He used to sing the last one loudly around the house when I was a little girl) .. Softly, as I rubbed his hair and gave him kisses and cried, because I wanted to comfort him and for him to not be afraid; because he was always my comforter. Even though rationally I knew that Daddy was already being held by Jesus.
After the 4th code blue, we knew we had to let him go. He was already gone. Shock was among the emotions I first felt, and denial and anger and overwhelming grief and heart ache.
Heart Ache. Literal aching.
Losing my hero and the first man I ever loved was a change that I wasn’t ready to make and would have never been ready to make. I learned some things about myself while watching my Daddy die. I learned that when choosing fight or flight mode in an awful tragedy that I stand and fight.. Like my daddy. That when someone I love most is in danger that I will stand and fight.
I learned that by God’s grace I can face loss and not be alone. That GOD truly supplies all of my needs. I learned that grief cannot be stopped at a certain time no matter what anyone says or what I’ve ever said to anyone about not staying stuck in a phase of grief. There are no time limits.. Every loss is different.
My daddy and I shared a special bond, and at age 40 I was still Daddy’s little girl. I felt like part of my heart went to heaven with him. Only someone who has had the exact relationship as I did with my Daddy or a similar one will understand.
My mother’s loss is different than mine. My brothers and sister and the children each are experiencing their own loss. Every person who’s life was touched by a loss experiences their own grief. Grief is different for everyone.
When it was over, I asked “is that it? Is he gone?” Just like that.. Everything changed. One breath to the next.
One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I knew he was gone was: “what happens when your Daddy dies and you were Daddy’s little girl? Are you still Daddy’s little girl?”
And the answer to that is: “ABSOLUTELY”
Whatever any of us were before in relation to any loss, doesn’t get deleted like a file on a computer just because they no longer walk on this earth with us.
I say all of this to share with you that time doesn’t stop for anyone. You think you will have tomorrow to handle things or to say hello or to go visit. You think that because yesterday you had tomorrow that today you will too. Think again. Nobody is promised tomorrow.
But even though I never went more than a week without seeing my Daddy, I still wish I had visited more. Like one of my brother’s said: “no matter what, we would always want one more time.” One more visit, one more hug, one more “I Love You.”
It’s been 3 weeks, and if you see my family and we are smiling or laughing, it’s not because we are over it. No, we smile because we know Daddy is with Jesus. We smile because God is providing strength and peace because of HIS love and grace and mercy. Undeserved.. But freely given.
My family and I are truly grateful for the love shown to us by so many friends and family members. We are so rich in family and friends. Gifts from God. That peace.. That strength.. Gifts from God.
All men are destined to die once. For authentic believers, that death leads to eternal life. That’s where my hope lies.. That’s where my comfort rests. You, too, can have that hope and peace and assurance as well, if you don’t already. It comes from trusting in Jesus and following HIM.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, (Hebrews 9:27a ESV)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)
Until Next Time,