The Pattern

This morning I was minding my own business.  Sitting in the back of church while the ceremonial Catholic process was in motion, daydreaming about what I was going to pack for our trip in a month to Germany, and periodically, tuning into the message.   This is my process in church as sometimes the message resonates while other times planning my dinner for the evening seems more relevant.   Don’t judge.   God gets me.  Anyway, at the moment we were getting ready to receive the body and blood of Christ, I was struck by an unexpected wave of grief.

It has been over eleven years since my father left his human body for a more spiritual landscape.    I don’t keep it a secret that he was one of my favorite human beings.  A staunch advocate for me and everything I did – even if I screwed up – which was a lot.   The man three rows up looked so much like what I would envision my father appearing like today that I almost grabbed him.  I didn’t which was good because that would have completely embarrassed my children and portrayed me as some crazy loon. It was surreal to experience.  I stood behind him in line, my eyes welled with tears.   It was so odd as the grief felt as fresh as the day he died.  As I continued to process the moment, I heard a voice within assuring me that he – my father – is always with me.   I was washed over by a sense of peace, but still had the yearning for his physical presence.

Grief is tricky.   I don’t believe it ever subsides, but life carries you through other avenues and the grief lies dormant.   Then a moment, a memory, or something else will trigger it and the sadness envelopes you again.   I don’t label grief as a horrible enemy, but rather a reminder that I miss someone who made my life better, richer, and fuller in every aspect.    Grateful that I can be open to experience the sadness for something so precious that showered me with tremendous joy.

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