Starting the grief process all over again is very strange. I'm conflicted because I know what my dad would be telling me to do right now, but my heart may burst from the pain of it all. My dad was always very real with me....verbalizing reality to me whenever he could. "You know I won't be here forever. You have to accept that." He would explain to me and my sister where we could find the insurance information or how he wanted things done. I remembered my dad saying, "Don't make a fuss over me. I don't want to be dressed up." He never gave himself credit....for anything.
When 450 people showed up to his service, at 2 on a Monday afternoon, I was not surprised in the least. Wherever my dad went, he touched lives. Just being around him, you could feel the grace flowing through him. He was never quick to judge...always considering others before himself. He was a bit old-school about some things, but for the most part, he kept his opinions to himself. He was "Heaven-focused." It was all he talked about. I knew that I wouldn't have my daddy with me forever, but I didn't like thinking about it. He made that difficult though, because he was always talking about Heaven....about Christ's return....about the day when he would finally make it. I'm more selfish...I guess. I need my dad for so much. When I needed a reassuring word, a vote of confidence, or just a "Hey, sweetie" I would call my dad. When Jeremy needed help with anything around the house...or going to pick up something...I'd call my dad. My dad loved Jeremy. He loved being able to hang out with his "son." And as Jeremy put it at Daddy's service, "It's not often that your father-in-law is one of your best friends." Daddy was a friend to everyone he met. I spoke to a perfect stranger yesterday - a lady my dad found while working on genealogy (one of his passions) - and she spoke to me about how much daddy had touched her life in the very short time she had known him. When you met my dad, you were met with kindness, acceptance, grace, humor, and love.
I've been walking around the past few days wondering how the earth is still spinning without this man. How has life continued without him? It shouldn't be possible. I find myself wondering how in the world I'm able to get up and put one foot in front of the other, and I'm met with "because that's what he would want you to do." Daddy would tell us, "Girls, I'm okay. Don't you worry about me. Just take care of your mom." I know he's okay, but I'm not. I never would have imagined that I would lose my dad at 28. It still isn't real. We are still operating under the "daddy's coming home any day" mode (since he travelled a lot for work). But, days pass, and he still isn't here.
I spent the first couple of days after he passed feeling extreme anger. I had the compulsion to kick things, throw things, break anything I could. Since I've experienced grief....the full process...I guess I skipped a few parts of the process. I sat through the decisions and arrangements unable to speak....just not wanting to accept it. I wanted to run out and get as far away from all of it as I could, but I knew I had to be there. I'm the oldest. I'm the one who has to stand up and keep things moving. And I will because daddy would want me to.
Thank you all for your kind comments, encouraging words, and your prayers. Please keep them coming. We definitely need them.