Last year I spent Memorial Day sitting by Papa Bear's bedside, with the gradual realization hitting my soul...I was losing my Dad. By the end of the day, I had first hand experience with what happens when a crash team is called into a room at a hospital. I stood in the corner, trying really hard to be brave and strong. Really, I was falling apart.
The crash team was accompanied by the hospital chaplain, a woman, which made me extremely happy. She made her way into the room, stood by my side, put her arm around me and said, "This is your dad? Can I pray?" I'm pretty sure I fervently said yes, please and then she prayed. I don't remember the prayer but I remember the moment and the comfort I received, being reminded that God was there.
The past year has been tough. Really, really tough. In the last year I've realized that I didn't just lose my Dad that week, I lost one of my best friends. The friend that greeted me each day when I came home. The friend that I talked politics with, watched Giants (baseball) with and the Jon Stewart show on occasion. I lost a friend who helped me see beyond myself and my little world, who urged me to explore, cheered me on and made me laugh, even when I really didn't want to laugh - I cannot tell you how frustrated that skill made me as a teenager!
A month or so after Papa Bear died, I was in Star$ and ran into a friend. It was one of those days where I had woken up crying and just continued to cry throughout the day. I was holding it as together as I could, while getting my coffee before going to work, when I saw this friend. He came over and said "How are you?" and the tears started again. This friend looked at me, with the wisdom of someone who knew about grief and said "It comes in waves. Just ride the waves."
This week, I'm going to be riding the waves. The waves of memories of the week when life changed irrevocably, the waves of pain that have been hidden under a protective layer for a few months, the waves of loss and loneliness. Yep, this week I'm going to be riding the waves. I miss my Dad...a lot.