darkness · death · grief · vulnerability



Last night was the first outing we went on as a family without dad…. and it kind of sucked. It was great to celebrate the engagement of a lifetime friend, but I hated that dad wasn’t there. I didn’t know how mom was going to handle herself either… walking into a room where we were celebrating two people so in love. I’m sure her mind was swarming with thoughts and feelings from her life and love with dad… and I hated watching her cry when the song “All of You” was sung because there was nothing I could do. Nothing but cry because her tears moved me… Cry and then hug her when the song was over and tell her I love her.

Death is still proving to be one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced. Usually when walking into a room like the one from last night, I feel judgement. No one has to say a word. Looks speak for themselves. But last night was different. Everyone wants to know how we’re doing and if we are gonna be ok. It’s like a hot topic of the moment… and how can you truly judge people that are in so much pain? Well, you can… but you really don’t. Instead people’s  sympathy and compassion override any type of judgement that might be thrown our way.

When mom and Bridge discussed what she was going to wear she said, “When you’re in this much pain, it doesn’t matter. You can’t feel the judgment of others.” Which was well said and also her way of saying she was going to wear boots, shorts and crop tops regardless of the feelings and thought of others.

And honestly, I don’t know how I would react if I was on the opposite side of the card. I want to think I’d feel some kind of compassion and sympathy… but honestly, I’m not that good of a person. Because until this moment, I haven’t had anything real enough happen in my life to move me to feel compassionate for others. So I’d probably feel pity and I’d probably make some snide comment like, “Look what she’s wearing.” Something ugly and not from a good heart.

It sucks to have to learn so many lessons the hard way. I mean death is a hefty price to learn compassion. But gosh I need it. I mean I really need it a lot. Growing up I was taught to judge and judge harshly in the name of religion. Like it’s ok to judge and gossip if you throw God’s name into it. Just throw him under the bus and you’re fine….. that’s a lie. So much of a lie, that it’s taken a situation like this to help uproot years of judgment.

And judgment is so harsh. I’ve never really felt the kind of judgement I’ve handed out. Which is scary within itself because I don’t want karma to come around in this situation. And I honestly don’t know how to prevent that from happening… hopefully the pain I am in now is my karma. It’s my way of learning and shuffling through this thing called life.

But…. at the end of the day I do know this…. I know that it’s much better to love and accept people for who they are. It’s much better to approach a person, talk to them and learn about their views on life. It’s much better to be open minded with their response and choose to take it as a new piece of information, a different way someone views life. I believe we all have unique perspectives on life… some may look the same, but they’re all different because we’ve all experienced different things… And that’s beautiful.

I used to tell dad, “Dad, if Jesus was here today.. if he was alive and on this earth.. I wouldn’t know who he was. He would look so different than I’ve been raised to believe.” And now, well… now I can honestly say that’s true because dad lived a life like Christ. He really didn’t judge. Actually he was so far from it. He was the boss on the job, wearing dirty clothes, smoking and blending in. He was the one making an influence and I didn’t even see it. My words were true because I honestly couldn’t see the work of a genuine Christ-like life.

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