As we drove home in the wee hours of this Sunday morning, we were euphoric over our Bryce’s high school football team capturing their twentieth-fourth state championship – two in the span of his time at Trinity. It is one of the moments where you are completely in the present. Nothing is more important. It is as though the world has stood completely still for that brief second. Then I remembered. I remembered that eleven years ago today, my father, left this earth.
At that time, Bryce was six. I can remember every detail of that night…….the chill in the air, my father’s body in the garage after he collapsed while we were trying to get him to the hospital, and on and on. Vivid memories that I will not and don’t want to forget. I was with him with he left this earth and that was my honor. I don’t stare into the past, but in a reflective nature, I look at the transformation of my family and my life in that span of time..
I no longer look at grief as an outsider. It is a companion that can partner with my happiness. Grieving never ends, but it doesn’t take my breath away when it appears anymore. I get the privilege of watching my father’s grandchildren live vibrantly. I am in awe of how walking through the grief has made me more transparent, more accepting, and transformed my outlook on life.
There will always be a void in my heart, but last night, in the midst of celebrating, that empty space filled for a moment. It is a reminder that these moments make up the canvas that depicts our lives and that the day he died doesn’t have to be tarnished by his passing. That is the real lesson – seeing the light through the darkness, being present even when I want to dwell in the past, and most of all, allowing myself to miss him…..every single day.