I guess nothing ever prepares you for life. You think you’ve grown. You think you’ve lived enough. You’ve learned. And then all of a sudden there it is. Change. Something unexpected. Something that hits you like a ton of bricks and leaves you shaken and unsure about everything in life all over again.
People say it’s good for you. You’ll grow from it. You’ll be better for it. But are we really?
Are we really better for surviving something that we would have never wanted to live through in the first place? Who cares if it is a part of life. It doesn’t make it any easier. And, at least for me, there isn’t any silver lining in knowing that some things are just inevitable.
I wasn’t ready to lose my dad almost three months ago now. I wasn’t ready to have the difficult conversations about how and who would handle his final arrangements when the time came. I wasn’t ready to obligate him to take the pain medication he was prescribed. I was definitely not ready for the desperation and guilt I felt afterwards when I had to look him in the eyes and squeeze the contents of a syringe into his mouth. I wasn’t ready for the call when it finally came.
I wasn’t ready to be the one to carry his casket. I want ready to drive in a procession. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
And I’m still not ready to let go.
The logical me understands that it was his time. That he was suffering so much that he left when he couldn’t agonize any longer to be with us. I get it. I do. But there were so many things I wanted to say, I wanted to do, I wanted to share with him, that I never will now. At least not facing each other eye to eye the way we used to.
That’s the part that gets me. When I least expect it. In the middle of crowded rooms, in the privacy of my own home. In between work calls and assignments. Anytime. Anywhere. Something reminds me of him, of his final days, of having to say goodbye to my dad, and I’m wiping away tears, speaking to him in silence.
“Dad I miss you,” is the only thing I can usually think to say.
I do. His passing has reminded me again that I am not the shepherd. That no matter how much I plan, life will happen when it is supposed to happen.