my father passed away this afternoon. he was a month shy of his 76th birthday. his condition has been frail for the last few years so it wasn’t really a surprise. but as is the case with any death, it catches you off guard.
it’s hard to describe what my feelings were when i first found out (by a call from my sister) or even in the hours afterward. i mean for the past 10 years or so there have been various times that i’ve thought about what my reaction should be when i first heard and now it’s finally here.
i felt my heart sink. not because my father had died necessarily but because the time i knew had been on the horizon, was finally here and i would have to face all the feelings that come along with that in the days, weeks, and years to come.
i didn’t really feel like breaking down and crying the moment i heard. in fact i don’t think it really hit me what had happened until i had to explain it to some of the school staff as to why i was leaving early. it was actually saying the words out loud. “my father just passed away.” i said those words and i felt my voice start to quiver. and a lump in my throat swell.
but i think my highest point of grief (thus far) came when we got to my dad’s house. we were all in my parent’s bedroom; my dad lying dead on his recliner chair. none of us were really sure what to say. besides our family some paramedics and a police officer were in the room. but there was a moment that deborah left the room and went to the piano and began playing the old hymn: “i’ll fly away.” and some other hymns like “it is well with my soul”.
i started to cry, others in the room began to cry as well. it was very fitting.
we have family in southern california and minnesota that will be coming to the funeral. so it will probably be next week sometime.
// today i’m thankful for:
5. my dad