Tag Archives: death
Happy Independance day to you all. As you celebrate with family, friends, fireworks & barbecue, here are my thoughts & memories of what this day means to me:
Yesterday was the anniversary of my Dad’s passing and I was totally fine. He’s been gone several years now. Today I remembered us rushing to the hospital, and the coroner literally waiting right near the front door to take his body. The nurse who called us kept her word, that they’d wait until we got there to see him, before letting them take his body. I remember being hit with the reality of his death when I kissed his forehead. It had already grown cold. I knew then – he’s really gone. This is just a shell before me. I smiled and cried at the same time. My sister’s wedding was in two weeks and she had to face the reality, that he wouldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle. She wasn’t going to have the father/daughter dance she had planned. My brother was the last one to see him alive. “Lance, I’m going for a walk. I won’t be long. I’ll see you when I get back,” he said. Those were his last words, except whatever sweet utterances he whispered in the ears of Christ, with his arms outstretched, upward bound. Though they’d been divorced, and amicably so, for several years, I saw my Mom cry for the first time in my life. As the eldest child, I knew that I had to be there for my family, and we had to plan a funeral. My grief would have to wait. I held it in so tightly that my pain manifested physically in the place of its emotional twin. A sudden, severe toothache sent me to the dentist the next morning. My blood pressure was sky high. My pain was going to be released one way or another…
We got in the car to leave and the phone started ringing. His corneas were to be donated to a recipient in need. He had agreed to this on his license and they were the only thing they could take from a 61 year old man with heart disease. Informing us was just a formality. Then we had the heart-wrenching task of informing family and friends. He wasn’t ill, his death was sudden. But what I remember most and first, is going to his home, looking in the refrigerator and seeing chicken already seasoned, ready for the grill – it was for tomorrow. Tomorrow. It’s not promised to any of us. We make plans, but God is in control. The next day was the 4th of July. He was a veteran (USAF) and very patriotic. This makes me a bit sad, until I remember his destination. He was a Christian and very keenly understood what that meant. He made sure my siblings and I understood it too. Often he would pray and ask God to spare him the pain of ever having to bury a child. God granted him that. Knowing he’d transition first, he spoke of wanting to see his three children again in Heaven. That’s up to us. He and my mother have done their part. Ironically, it was he who told me that I should become a writer, or a lawyer. At the time I scoffed at the idea that I should write, or argue for a living. I wanted to become a research scientist. Hmm. Now I’m a writer and I argue all the time. I’m thankful to God for you Daddy. We miss and love you. There has never been a day that has passed by when you weren’t in my thoughts. In a world in which so many don’t know, or don’t have their fathers in their lives, I’m so happy and blessed to not know what that feels like.
Until next musing,
Talitha K. McEachin
That’s my father in the picture included & I want to share with you all after comforting a friend tonight. I was speaking to an old friend tonight who lost her Dad very recently. She, understandably, was very upset and knew of my father’s passing 3 years, 4 months and 13 days ago as of 11am today. I consoled her & shared that I really didn’t grieve at the time of his death (immediate) because I am the eldest child & felt that I had to be very strong for my two siblings and as it turned out, my very strong mother, whom I saw cry for the first time in my entire life when he passed. My grief showed itself in other physical ways. I ignored my own emotional needs in light of my family’s, but my cavity in my tooth, which hadn’t really bothered me much before then, suddenly shouted – nonstop until I saw a dentist & rectified this physical problem. Anyhow, she asked me “When will you get over it?” I gave her my honest answer: “NEVER. You’ll only learn to live with it & enjoy fond memories (if that’s the case – I don’t know what children of uninvolved/absentee fathers go through & I thank God for that everyday).
She lamented that there were so many things which she had not asked for forgiveness from to her father, and now she could not. I’m sharing this to say that children (grown or minor) no matter what, your parents love you. They know more about your faults than you do, whether you realize it or not. I’m speaking of involved parents here, not absentee. They know that despite your immature, unintentional, intentional folly, who you are & they love you – even if you declare that you don’t in a moment – lasting or fleeting, of anger or folly. Do not become a slave to guilt – it will kill you if you allow it to. Forgiveness seems to be inherently parental, as far as I’m concerned & can discern of parenthood from being a child. Parents (normal) don’t have the ability to sever themselves that way. Your success is the song which parts their lips and the breath in their lungs. They love you no matter what, they sacrifice & give so much of themselves. My Dad certainly did (and so does my mother) – if you did not get the chance to seek forgiveness from a deceased parent – take the reins of inherited, inherent forgiveness. Don’t let guilt take that away from you. There has not been one single day that has gone by that I have not thought of my Dad…..and I still cry sometimes. It’ will be alright – and I’m in the not so unique position of declaring that, with certainty. #Beentheredonethat…respectfully.
Until next time……..Talitha “TK” McEachin