Category Archives: Death

Please Don’t say, they’re in a better place or Heaven needed them more.

In honor of my dad’s birthday in July…

My dad was such a great man! He was funny, talented, creative, and passionate about his faith. He could take a tossed out piece of wood and turn it into a treasure just to turn around and give it away. The kindest man you would ever meet. Five minutes with him was a lifetime with him! He was a friend to all! We called each other often and visited with each other often. We sang gospel music together in a family group. We sat together in church and prayed together…he was present in my life. By far, this was my greatest loss.

During his funeral, so many people said, “he’s in a better place”. Those words just smothered me and really made me feel worse because it just emphasized the fact that he was no longer here with me. Please stop saying this to people at funerals. It does not make the death easier!

I sure wish I could take back all the times I said it to anyone! If I could do it all over, I would had said what I really needed to hear myself, “If I could wake you up from this nightmare, I would”.

And for God’s sake, stop saying Heaven needed them. Heaven has all things amazing already. It doesn’t need us to make it great, Jesus already makes it great.

I know it was his time and Heaven is the place to go but it was the last thing I wanted or needed to hear at least not on the day that I wanted him back the most. Say it days before because to be honest (anyone who has lost a love one will agree), we aren’t listening to anyone during the days leading up to the funeral or during it for that matter. We’re just hurting and hurting bad.

What we are thinking about are all the times we should have said more, done more, shared more, loved more, visit more, and appreciated them more while they were alive. And we are thinking, how in God’s name are we going to live without them now!

Somehow, I’ve learned to live without my dad. Yes, it’s been a process. Even though there were those days after and long after that whenI had force myself to get up and well sometimes I didn’t get up, a lot of days I didn’t get up! But, here I am still learning to get up every single day. The hurt never went away “in time” which is another thing that we should stop saying, I only learned to live without him.

I’ve learned that to live without my dad only means to live without him “present”. His voice is still with me in the music he sang. (He went as far as to leave us a CD singing 12 of his favorite gospel songs)

I have all those memories of being in church with him, riding next to him on waterslides at family vacations (while in his late 60’s), and camping at our hunting lease in very cold Texas winters.

And I have some of those gifts made out of tossed out wood.

Sure, he may not be present physically but some how he managed to stay present in my life even after his death.

Happy birthday daddy!

I sure miss you! Thank you for all that you instilled in me. Somehow, I’ve managed to live more and to live more each single day! Remember to save me a place at the table! I’ll be seeing you but not any time soon. You see, I’ve learned how to live again! I love you!

http://instagram.com/over50living

Yesterday

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He walked away this time and it just felt different.  His voice was a tone attempting to sound happy.  As he waved a backward wave, he said, “I love you sis.”  Any time before, it was, “see you later”.  It was all different in every way;his voice, his choice of words, his unexpected visit, his energy, and the vibe it gave me.

It all seemed to film in slow motion;me standing at the front door waving to his backside, the cold winter air chilling me from head to toe, blinking Christmas lights in the background, and that weird unexplainable feeling as if to say he never planned on returning.  I stood at my front door watching him drive off and I prayed a prayer that only God could hear that went something like, “keep him safe, Lord.”  Our family would say our last farewells to him just a few weeks later.  It’s been 8 years now and it still feels like yesterday, but why?

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My brother and I weren’t as close as we could have been but we weren’t distant either.  He was there if I needed him and I was there when he truly needed me.  Did we visit each other often, no.  Did we call each other everday, no.  But, we loved each other.  We fought at times and often went without talking but always found a way to forgive and forget.  He had his lifestyle choices and I had mine.  He knew how I felt about his life choices and I knew how he felt about mine.  We just let each other live and let live.  We didn’t leave anything unspoken.  I used to feel like I didn’t get a chance to tell him goodbye but as I reflect back to yesterday, I realize I did, we both did.  It was that goodbye just weeks before his passing that comforts me still today.  I somehow knew it was our last goodbye.  His passing will always feel like yesterday because time is to short for us all.  Time has a way of standing still when you can’t turn time back.  So, it will always feel like yesterday to me.

His farewell was just the beginning of changes to come in our family at least this is my observation.  It gave us all a rude awakening that life is short and you have to be happy and have no regrets!  I can’t speak for my other 6 brothers or 1 sister but his death pushed me to seek my inner issues and seek my “real happy”.  Sure, I didn’t do anything about it until a year ago but it was the beginning pavement to my healing today! 

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So what happened that caused me to begin to heal, you ask?  Revelation happened!  It was that moment when I realized that what I was so successful in hiding for so long, I didn’t have the strength to control anymore by “hiding” it.  I found myself not able to leave my room or want to get out of bed. I had to deal with that “depression” covered with anger or it would kill me and put me in the same place as my brother.  It still took months later to say the words, “I’m depressed”.

It’s been a full year of healing, seeking God, and letting go.  The “letting go” has been the hardest but I’m better for it today.  The finish line is still within reach but I’m closer than I was, yesterday!

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