After Life.

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Suddenly, I feel very lost. Adrift and uneasy. People said to me that the week after the services are over and the goodbyes have been said would be worse. I believed them, I just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. Today, I am experiencing a deep restlessness and sorrow. It’s worse than I would have thought. But, I guess it is true…going through all the funeral related details and the services themselves delays the grieving process somewhat. The grief and the tears are there, but, they are blunted by the effort of saying a proper and public goodbye.
So, now, here I am, again living within the confines of my every day life. Laundry being done, dogs getting walked, discussions taking place over what to have for dinner. All of this with the morbid thought running through my head “my dad is gone, my dad is gone”.
I did present the Eulogy at the Mass. I have never been comfortable speaking in public, but, I knew that I wanted to do it. I usually shake, shiver and talk very fast. In fact, when I was on the phone reading it to the priest, he said it was about 4 minutes, and would probably be a little longer when I was reading it in the church. I inwardly chuckled, because of my past experiences. I thought I would be reading so fast, no one would really be able to understand what I was saying. But, I really wanted to do it right…so I kept the mantra “strength, daddy” running through my head. I made it through, I did not stumble, I almost broke down, but did not and believe that the only reason I was able to do that was because I asked him for the strength to do it right. He would definitely have been proud.
One of the things that we did this past week was to compile photos from my father’s life to put into a tribute video. It turned out beautifully and on Wednesday night, we all sat in the family room at my dad and Lisa’s house and watched it. We hooted and hollered and laughed at these pictures, and talked about the memories contained in them. It was wonderful. He would have loved seeing us all there, recalling his Magnum PI days, his Keith Richards days and all the moments in between. In fact, I am quite sure he was up there in Heaven saying “WooHoo…look at me!! I was a stud!!”. And, smiling at all the love in that room.
It’s interesting to me that sometimes we don’t realize how loved somebody is until they die. Or how loved you are until somebody you love dies. The love and support that surrounded all of us was incredible. People came from far and wide to honor my father, including a very, very old friend who returned from a business trip in Europe to be a pallbearer. My young cousins, Thomas and Matthew are 11 and Natalie is 7 and though some might think they are too young to be exposed to death, they were amazingly loving and genuine in their response to seeing Uncle Jimmy lying in a casket. Little Natalie wanted to stay while they closed the casket, and my stepsister Alia lovingly held her hand and picked her up and hugged her as she cried. It was a moment of such tenderness and love that I will never forget.
I have come to understand that death is a reminder to live. To cherish those who cherish you. To share old memories while building new ones. To remember the past and look forward to a re-arranged future. To find strength where you thought there was none.
The circle of life is amazing.Big Daddy

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5 responses »

  1. Here is my two cents…….my grandmother died 15 yrs ago, I was in college at the time and was devastated when the decision had to be made to take her off of life support. She was the person that I was closest to, my best friend, I could tell her anything. After the funeral I returned to school and was so busy with mid-term and then finals that the reality of her being gone didn’t hit me until I went home for the summer and she wasn’t there for me to go shopping with or to have her make me scrambled eggs (no one can make them better than she could). But that was the time I finally allowed myself to grieve and experience the variety of emotional that come along with losing someone you love. That summer helped me tremendously, not that it made it all go away but just allowing myself to feel and not constatly busy myself to avoid the feelings. I still struggle today on birthdays and holidays and when I hear that song on the radio that happened on be on every station as I drove away from the hospital the night she died. I wish all the time that my kids knew her, she was the best and made it no secret that I was her favorite. I still miss her everyday but I live my life knowing how proud she would be if she were still here! OK now I’m crying…..you will get through this! If you need me I’m here ❤

  2. Lori since your father passed I have been following your blog and I must say no matter how sad they begin they always end on a positive note. Although I’m usually in tears as I read it’s never sad tears just inspirational and loving tears. ❤

  3. Lori –

    What strikes me is that you and your Dad were very lucky because you both knew how much you loved each other while he was alive. It was obvious from the way you talked about him and the amount of time you spent with him. You seemed to enjoy each other as friends as wll as father and daughter and did not waste the precious time you had together.

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