Having not experienced it before, “Grief” seemed a far-away concept to me – like murder or kidnapping or cancer – it was something that happened to other people but never to me and I was so grateful for that.
Until that 5am phonecall on the 4th of June – where my Mom’s rough, foreign-sounding voice rang through the phone lines – it was like her voice had changed from warm honey to cold steel with bloodied spikes in it – the morning when Mom bypassed her usual happy “hello” and went straight to “Your Dad died this morning”.
Those words changed my entire life.
Hearing them was like someone reaching into my heart and ripping it out from my torn-apart lungs and chest/breast bones (what are they called? I’m having a mental blank right now hahahhaha).
Dad can’t be dead – that was my first thought.
Dad messaged me only yesterday about how excited he was for going home.
That’s when Jesus changed the definition of home. God took Dad home. I hope Dad was just as excited to go there as he was to finally tour the Philippines.
When those words “Your Dad died” landed like BOMBS in my very being…grief introduced itself.
Grief…it isn’t a silent, comforting friend that walks quietly beside you as you try to comprehend a life without your Dad in it.
Grief instead is a rising, roaring storm of unspeakable PAIN that just comes and comes and comes. You think one day the rains will stop but they don’t. They lessen sometimes. They hail down in others.
But they never stop.
Grief is a resounding gong in my spirit that rings out with the words “You will never see your Dad again” “You will never hear his chesty laugh again“
Dad smoked a lot, so when he laughed – and he did often – Dad would cough and cough, waving his hands in the air to signal “I’m ok” when he was clearly not, but his goofy grin remained.
If I close my eyes right now, I can hear it. Dad’s laugh. Throaty and raw…and filled with mischief and fun…and magic.
Grief is an unwelcome guest at every anniversary, tapping it’s long fingers on faded windows, reminding rudely “He’s not here anymore” whenever I turn to look at Dad to share a joke or connect eyes because a favourite song of ‘ours’ has started on the radio.
Grief pulls up a chair beside me as I work, stands beside me as I hang clothes on the line and sits at the end of bed when I try to sleep at night.
Grief – is an intense, horrible, dark, long-lasting LOUD pain that never, ever goes away.
Grief is a locked door when it’s pouring outside and you just want respite from the rain.
Grief is a fly in a warm, hearty bowl of soup on the coldest day and is the constant reminder that bad things can and will happen to me – and not just to strangers in the world around me.
I miss my Dad EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Since the 4th of June, I have not experienced ONE DAY without crying over the loss of him. Not one.
I’m waiting, Lord. I’m waiting for the storm to stop but I’m starting to doubt it ever will.
I’m starting to forget what it feels like to have dry clothes, you know.