It’s been 4 weeks since I flew home to see dad… It’s been 4 weeks since I flew home to see dad recover and get stronger or be healed. Death was never in my conscious mind. Ever. And when it did attempt to enter, I tossed the thought away so quickly. Now… now death and I are learning about each other. I am getting a personalized, real lesson on death. And I hate it. I hate it because it’s so permanent. My life will never be the same.

And pictures… pictures of my father are everywhere. His things are everywhere. It’s so weird to see his hats and think he’ll never put them on again. And I don’t feel really sentimental towards keeping any of his things for myself… I think it may be because I’m still a little shocked… A little confused and out of place.

Just the thought of “I lost my dad to cancer” is a lot. So much that when I was looking for papers yesterday and came across the folder with all the medical reports… well… it made me kind of sick. I think I feel this way because he lived with so much death in him for so long. Five to ten years… that’s how long they say it was there… and then to discover it’s presence and him to be gone so quickly. So quickly, but the cancer was there for so long. Something was killing him for so long. And I didn’t fully recognize it. I didn’t pay attention enough. My thoughts were so self-centered… and now well… he’s gone. It’s still eating at me.

But in so many ways I choose to ignore it… only to find it again. I guess the only real thing I can do in these moments is forgive myself. Forgive myself for being self-centered and then for feeling the regret. Regret is strange too. I’ve felt regret before… but never like this. It’s almost like regret is dressed a little different in the occasion of death. I mean… I’ve regretted wasting moments and time and money. I;ve regretted silly little things. I’ve even regretted taking so long to actually loose weight and become healthy… but here… in this moment… this situation with regret is so much different.

Maybe it feels different because it involves death. I mean, regret does involve death of moments… But now, well I think the realness of it all makes regret more powerful. Sometimes I even feel a little tuned out to everything around me. Like I’m on autopilot. I think that’s shock though. How do I embrace the full reality of death though? Is it a process? How much time does it take to fully process the loss of someone so near and dear? And how do I keep myself protected from ignoring reality?

I think I’m ok. I think I’m handling things well. I cry when I need to and I don’t hold back the tears… but I still feel like I’m missing something. Some vital part to this entire puzzle called death. I need to gain this piece of information on death so I feel a little bit at peace with death. I don’t want to ignore him. He’s so real and apparent. And I don’t want to ignore the grief, regret and pain that comes with him…. So what should I do? Where do I go from here? How do I confidently move forward with life knowing that I have a firm grasp on death?

Oh… I really don’t know. I don’t know at all. And I hate not knowing. It drives my curious little mind insane. But maybe since I thew it out there, into the atmosphere.. well maybe the answers will come back to me quickly. Or as speedily as I need them to. That’s how it’s worked in the past… Ask a question with my heart invested in it 100% and sooner or later it comes back to me. And then… well then I feel complete. I don’t feel like I’m wondering around looking for the missing piece anymore.

And maybe the piece I’m missing is that life is within death. Life goes on after death has showed up. Death maybe a new friend, a friend I should respect and learn about… But death is also friends with life. Because life goes on after death arrives. Like I said… it’s been four weeks. Four weeks after death, life has proven that it moves forward. It’s proven that it’s still a little bit more powerful that death because there’s more life around me than death. But then… well how can something as temporary as life be more powerful then something as permanent as death?

I don’t know the answer to this either… but I do know within dad’s life… within his life he loved. He loved others. He respected and honored his parents and he was humble. My dad was so humble. He never talked about his own work, gifting and talents. He just lived and worked with them. He used love, happiness, humility and his talents the best way he knew how. And because of it… well others have been directly affected. So… I hope I can lead a life like his. I hope when life’s ending becomes permanent that it’s recognizable in the love I showed and humility I gained. I really hope I can be Chris Winder’s daughter.


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