Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lazy Death: This Too Shall Pass

My dad died on October 10th, synchronistically the same date that my boyfriend's father died. I thought it might be a sweet little nod from my dad from beyond. My boyfriend, and other friends who have lost their dads are reliving their dad's deaths to one degree or another. But even friends who haven't lost a parent understand my pain. This is one of those life experiences that you really don't have to live through to understand and fully empathize with. I know every time a friend's dad has died -- my entire life -- I have felt their pain on some level because even imagining the world without my dad was so painful.

It's been painful, even though I knew it was coming. As I've said to many friends in the past, "No matter how great your life is going, there is never a good time to lose a parent. You are never really ready for it." I thought I was. About 8 years ago my dad was diagnosed with a fatal lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis. He was given 5 years to live. Four years ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He also had emphysema. My dad was such a fighter he lived far beyond what his doctors expected.

I have felt a little like I was cut off at the knees. I've felt wobbly kneed several times since he died, and I've never felt these sensations before. I've never felt so shaken by anything in my life. And, as we say in our book, the phrase I keep repeating, that everyone knows and can recite in times like these: This too shall pass.

I know it will get better. I know I'll have a little more finesse with hearing my dad in my heart. I know I'll adjust to not being able to pick up the phone and call him.

It's not passing's right here in every cell, but it will transform into something different. I hope it transforms into a little glowing, peaceful ball of light inside me that I just get to tap into for joy instead of sadness. That I could look forward to passing into.

We'll see. All I know is it's true: This too shall pass.

1 comment:

  1. Whether it was fated I don't know, but I found a copy of the poem - Death is Nothing at all by Henry Holland - in my mother's house a few days after she died. Together with the grace and comfort of my friends, this gave me the solace and the understanding I needed at the lowest point of my life

    Death is nothing at all,
    I have only slipped away
    into the next room.

    I am I,
    and you are you;
    whatever we were to each other,
    that, we still are.

    Call me by my old familiar name,
    speak to me in the easy way
    which you always used,
    put no difference in your tone,
    wear no forced air
    of solemnity or sorrow.

    Laugh as we always laughed
    at the little jokes we shared together.
    Let my name ever be
    the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effect,
    without the trace of a shadow on it.

    Life means all
    that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.
    There is unbroken continuity.

    Why should I be out of mind
    because I am out of sight?

    I am waiting for you,
    for an interval,
    somewhere very near,
    just around the corner.

    All is well.