Perhaps the most difficult experience my family had recently was the passing away of my father.
I was seated at the back of the car looking out through the window and while the music played on -- "Hello darkness my old friend..." -- I felt the gush of emotions rising from my chest to my head. I was tearing up and was held captive by weakness and the feeling of sheer sadness. I guess the death of a parent or of any member of the family was something we intentionally barely speak about or think of. It's the awkwardness of the subject that makes it a matter seldom discussed within the household. So much so that when it came to visit us that fateful night of November 11, we barely had the time to fix ourselves to face the visitor. Death just stormed through the door robbing us empty and leaving us shocked thinking about the whys, what ifs, and whether we could have done something better to prevent, alter, or postpone the event.
My eldest sister and her nurse instincts play back the events thinking about what has gone wrong and whether we made the right decisions to let dad undergo the surgery. My mom bursts into tears every now and then at the memory of my dad's loving gestures for the family -- like bringing home bread for breakfast or when he buys her snacks in the afternoon. My other sibling who was with my dad from the first day of hospital confinement until the night my dad's last breath barely talks about her feelings but bleeds inside. People say that dad appeared to them in a dream and others claim my dad spoke to them through some sort of experience. Everyone's emotions were all over the place and I am enraged at the thought of dad being objectified like some sort of a ghost or element because my biblical stance opposes the premise --- but honestly, i held selfish hopes that he would appear to me... his eyes open, body moving, mind comprehending, and able to speak. I guess I just wanted to hear him say, "I'm okay. I have accepted the Lord, Jesus, in my heart." Then, I can be at rest knowing first hand that he is saved and that we can all reunite in the afterlife.
Nonetheless, I believe by faith that he did and that he is now in the arms of our Saviour. When he was in coma, I shared Jesus to him confident that hearing is the last sensor that gives up. My sister and Pastor Ebe also recalled having shared the same to him in the past. I trust that in those instances, he made both unspoken and/or spoken decisions to follow. On the door of his room months before he passed away he has written words of adoration to God which moved my spirit. Although the message was unclear but what stood out was his acknowledgement of God's existence.
Today, I fly back overseas and I remember dad saying in one of our last few conversations how proud he was of my accomplishments -- although small, he perceived them huge. He was happy of us, his children, for having the determination to make something out of ourselves. I guess he considered us one of his most treasured personal achievements -- rearing a family he was happy to have despite our unit's imperfections.
Tomorrow, is a brand new day and I don't expect the pain to disappear but be more manageable as the days go by. I pray for the family, especially for mom, to find the solace of good memories to carry us through lonely times. May dad's advocacy on integrity and hard work resonate in us and through us so dad can live through and in those whom these attributes positively impact. May God be more real than the death that comes one day to each one.
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.