Today is the 11th anniversary of my father’s death. It is hard to believe it is that many years. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, especially during those times when the feelings of loss rise so powerfully. The prompts are varied: I listen to my daughter’s recital and think how much my father would have enjoyed hearing her…I am invited to give a talk somewhere and think of how proud he would have been at it…We celebrate a family event together and I miss his laughter – or his sarcasm. This November will be the first wedding of one of his granchildren and I know the pain of loss will arise fiercely then.
I’ve talked about death before. The only real solace is my conviction of resurrection. But that conviction doesn’t take away my missing my dad.
When I think of hid death, I think of the prayer in Clarence Enzler’s version of stations (Everyman’s Way of the Cross) at the Thirteenth Station (Jesus is Taken from the Cross). In our response to Jesus at this station, Enzler has us pray:
I beg you, Lord, help me accept the partings that must come – from friends who go away, my children leaving home, and most of all, my dear ones when you shall call them to yourself. Then, give me grace to say: “As it has pleased you, Lord, to take them home, I bow to your most holy will. And if by one word I might restore their lives against your will I would not speak.”
When I pray that prayer, it is difficult for me to get the words out. When I pray that prayer, I half shake my head, especially at that last line because there are times I’d give just about anything to have some more time with my father.
But I know I can’t ask that. So I pray, let me grown in my acceptance so that I am able to pray those lines more honestly and fully, to more and more bow to God’s most holy will.
Still, I miss my dad.