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Without My Father March 29, 2006

Posted by fajita in Uncategorized.

I thought I might be sleeping a little better than I am, but at around 2:00 AM, I am awake. I am posting from the kitchen table in my mother’s house. To my left is a Jenga game toppled over. The past three days have been a Jenga game. The thing about Jenga is that eventually, the thing collapses.

I have had a bizarre dream, which is not out of the ordinary for me. Usually my dreams relate to what is going on in my life. This one is no different. ***Begin dream***In my dream I was with my son and we were trying to visit my father’s apartment located at a retirement/assisted living facility. They were making renovations. We tried and tried to get to his place, but each effort was blocked by construction. So, my son and I climbed the scaffolds that looked like a jungle gym. It was very dangerous and my son took risks that a 6 year old doesn’t realize are risks. We never made it to his room, so we decided to ask the doctor what was going on. The doctor kept avoiding us. Finally we cornered him and he gave some lame excuses why we couldn’t get there. It was very frustrating. Then I saw some old familiar faces from back in my college days who were expecting a really good speech, a funny one. Well, I was too upset to say anything of value, let alone anything humorous – and I told them so. They were surprised at my directness and I didn’t care. ***End Dream***

How is it that I can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is gone, but at the same time still wonder if it is really true? Right now there is no way to tally the facts that will quickly convince my heart that I will never hear my father laugh again?

We’ve had our last pizza from the Ole Piper Inn. We’ve had our last conversation about creating “a money mahcine,” with sage financial advice from someone who couldn’t control his spending. I’ve heard his last word of unconditional support on even the most ridiculous of my ideas. I’ll never see him beam again in the presence of his grandchildren. I’ll never get to hear him create or butcher any more cliches.

There are only so many people who are allowed into a person’s inner circle and I just lost one of them. That irreplaceable slot will simply remain vacant for the rest of my life. I’ll just have to deal with less. Now I am crying again. Yes, I am very sad.

There are a million little places that he has occupied in my being that are now empty. Yes, it’s like that. One huge empty spot and a million little ones. It’s going to take me a long long time to search and own all of those little places. I’m sure that I have no idea just how into me he is. That’s how grief plays out. It is dealing with the gaping hole and finding every little spot that has been vacated. It is overwhelming for all of its hugeness and all of its smallness. It is micro and macro. It’s like the bridge has collapsed and the road is riddled with potholes on all of the alternative routes. It’s not like I’m lost, but that doesn’t make this road easy to drive on.

When there was nothing else the doctors could do, we stood around him and he faded away. The heart got slower, the blood pressure dropped, his breathing quit completely – and he faded away. We all spoke our words and we ushered him out of this life in a prayer.

I wonder what he is doing right now. What are the first conversations a person has with the creator of the universe once arriving on that side of eternity? What does God reveal? I wonder if it feels like he’s always been there. Is he getting some time with his mother? His sister? Are they giving him the tour? Do you get a little adventure time checking out the universe? I wonder if it is strangely familiar, like he finally realizes he has been seeing this place all along. Does he miss me? Can someone unbound by time miss someone bound by time? Just what is his perspective now?

Lord of Heaven, can you tell my father that I am so glad he is with you now? But will you also let him know how badly I miss him? My heart is glad for him, but so very sad for me. Will you gather my tears and give them to him as my love? Tell him I will be OK even though this world is a little smaller without him.



1. TL - March 29, 2006

I am so, so sorry.

2. Joel Maners - March 29, 2006

Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing your grief. It means a lot to those of us who have yet to travel that journey. It’s comforting to know that others ahve traveled this path before.

Before we ha our first child, we suffered a miscarriage. I often think that my arents will have a grandchild waiting for them on the other side.

I’m looking forward to the reunion.


3. Beaner - March 29, 2006

Blessed are those who mourn.
Praying for you!

4. David U - March 30, 2006

Chris, our hearts are with you brother! We share you sorrow, and we hurt because you hurt.


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