The bible tells us in the book of Job 14:5 that our “days are numbered.” For the past few weeks, I had been numbering the days.
Let me explain.
My Dad was ‘”promoted to Glory” nearly one year ago. Every month since the day he died, there have been very few days when I have not thought about the moments that he is missing. He didn’t see the kids in their Halloween costumes; he didn’t have a seat at the table at Thanksgiving. Or at Christmas, when he didn’t get to help his Grandchildren open difficult boxes and use a screwdriver to put together million-piece toys that Santa brought. He didn’t call on my birthday, didn’t stay over for the weekend and feed the baby breakfast in the highchair, didn’t read bedtime stories to the big kids, or tell my daughter how clean she must have felt after her bath. He missed their birthdays, their milestones, and their first things. He didn’t come over to mow the lawn for me, or try to help me fix a broken step or paint the trim of our door.
He missed all those things.
Or did he?
Writer, Sarah Clarkson pens, “Grief felt like the suspension of normal life – as if my entire being had been tossed up in the air and I was waiting to see what would crash to the ground and what was still safe.”
Grief is like the leftovers from a big meal; you can turn them into soup or sandwiches or even some sort of casserole, but the beautiful banquet that once was, seems like it will never be anything more than warmed over second-servings.
Holidays felt hollow, parties felt passé, and the daily grind of life often felt gloomy.
I’ve heard of losing a loved one similar to losing an arm – you go on living, but nothing is quite the same as it used to be.
For nearly a year now, I have kept thinking, “Dad you are really missing out.” But I wasn’t being honest with myself, as I know he is in a much better place. And as the months turned from 10, to 11, to 12, I can now say, “Dad I’m really missing you in these moments.”
In the midst of the grief, I see beauty. I see my Dad’s legacy of work ethic, honesty, and family ties walking toward the future. Even if he cannot see what he had begun, I now can blink through the tears and see what is to come.