On January 8th, my dad lost his battle with a series of strokes that started almost eighteen full months before the end. It was hard to watch him go from this strong, stubborn, headstrong man to a weak and frail body. It was even more difficult to finally say goodbye. He was not only my father he was a mentor, teacher, and a friend. As an introvert by nature and a pastor by profession, friends are hard to come by for me. I am extremely close to my family, and I trust them completely. All of that together has made his passing one of the most difficult seasons of my life.
Over the past month, I have noticed a few things about myself that might you to understand someone going through a loss like this.
1. I Am Having Hard Time Controlling My Emotions
Little things trigger the tears for me. I am crying while I am writing this article. I spent the last hour of my birthday sobbing uncontrollably. It seems to come out of nowhere. I see a picture or remember a special time, and I break down. I am still struggling and have no idea when it will end.
2. I Am Tired All the Time
I suppose it comes from the emotional weight. I feel like I am carrying a fifty-pound sack all day long. I feel very little motivation to do things, even the things I enjoy.
3. I am Trying to Figure Out How to Help My Mom
I am venturing out into unknown territory. Mom cared for dad the past couple years, and I want to be there for her now. I am not sure what that looks like yet. I try to text frequently and call every day or two. I am bringing her to visit. I am not sure what else I am supposed to do. I know I want to be the best son I can be to my mother.
4. I Am More Empathetic to Others Loss
I have noticed how differently I feel when I hear the stories of other people losing loved ones. This morning in my prayers I remembered all those individuals who have lost a family member in the past week and I felt a deep, unfamiliar pain. I pray God is using this to soften my heart.
5. I Think About Heaven More Than Ever
I am glad my father was a man of faith. I long for the day I can see him again. I grieve, but not as one who has no hope.
Beside my desk attached to my filing cabinet is a wooden cross with magnets on the back. It hung inside of my dad’s coffin. I see it every day now. It reminds me of my father, his faith and the grace of our Lord Jesus. This has been a difficult time in my life, and with the grace of God, I am making it through each day.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and may God bless you all.