One year. Already. How can that be? I am overflowing with memories….
I remember holding his hands, rubbing his head, praying, singing, hugging my brothers and sisters. I remember my mom lovingly telling him it was okay to let go, that he didn’t have to worry about us.
I remember feeling overwhelming gratitude for having him in my life for as long as I did and at the same time feeling like I needed so much more.
I remember all of the sadness and so many tears. I remember the laughter, which I think he enjoyed, even if he couldn’t tell us so.
I remember his beautiful blue eyes. When they’d open up we would gather around to look into them, fearing it might be the last time we saw their twinkle.
I remember all of the people who came to say goodbye. I remember all of the blessings he received from the priests that he taught and mentored.
More than anything, I remember the enormous amount of love and loyalty that surrounded his bed in those final days. It felt like all of our hearts were breaking, all at the same time.
I’ve come to understand more intimately than ever before what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “the art of suffering well”. Some days are filled with clarity and ease while others are still heavy with grief and uncertainty. How can the world not feel smaller when someone you love so much is no longer in it? I turn to my practice for support and grounding just as I turn to those closest to me. This is the path of loss and of healing.
I am guided by my dad’s words and by his love. I am filled with compassion for all those who suffer and for all those who are grieving. My heart is full, even in its brokenness.
With much love,