Thursday, December 18, 2008
June 24th 2006
A friend of mine just lost his dad. I can't imagine how painful that must be. There is just no "right thing" to say to someone. There is no "right thing" to do for them. You have to stand by and allow them to walk through one of life's cruelest realities, the mortality of someone who gave them life.
I am sitting here thinking of the mortality of my own parents. My dad is 67, which is young but he does not have forever. Is there ever enough living to have lived to make death ok? My dad has had a great life and many experiences, is the sum of his life enough? Could 20 more years or 30 make the sum enough? Not for me.
I don't think we can fully grasp the value of the relationship we have and have had with our parents until we can take an honest appraisal of who we have become because of them. Good or bad the relationship with them is the most siginificant one we have in our lives save for that we will share with our own children. Their's are the hands that mold us.
My friend's father was an accomplished man who loved him immensely and took great pains to see his son become the kind of person he is meant to be. In that alone he should take comfort. His father's greatest accomplishment and masterpiece were his children.
The crippling effect of grief is that we lose the ablilty to see that beyond the loss, is a legacy that will live within us forever. We never really lose our parents because each day when we get up we can go to the mirror and see our father's eyes, our mother's nose, the features that we know are theirs. Everyday we can acknowledge the behavior we inherit, the ability to negotiate, how we nurture, all of these are things we learned from them.
I hope that my friend will find solace today and tomorrow and that his grief will run it's course swiftly. Underneath the pain is the love that endured though his father's life and now will endure his. The love between a parent and child.