Space to Remember

My dad passed away the beginning of January. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease about 10 years ago, and more recently with Lewy Body Dementia. I wrote a blog about my dad a few years ago when I was processing through how this disease was affecting my dad. That list (My Dad) still stands as sweet memories of my daddy and I don’t think I could rewrite that list without dissolving into a puddle of tears.

It’s an odd sensation now. What is life like without Dad? What is this new normal that I’m learning? There’s joy for my dad and sadness for me. I’ve lost grandparents, but I’m realizing that losing a parent is a different type of grief. Everything feels like it has changed.

O Triune God,
You are the Eternal Constant.
Though all else in my life changes, you remain the same.
Your mercies never waver. Your affections do not fluctuate.
Your ancient promises endure, forever fixed and unbroken.
Be my rock and my sure foundation
in this time of flux and transition.

A Liturgy for Returning to Daily Life After a Loss – Every moment Holy Volume II: Death, Grief and Hope

Amidst the storm of this season, God is unchanging. He is my rock and sure foundation. He is the one who sees me through. While my thoughts and emotions can be ever changing, I’m working on learning this new normal. It’s an odd sensation to realize that my world has tilted and yet it’s a regular day for everyone else.

Now I sense the time has come for me to begin
the reassembly of my life, to learn what it will mean
to march forward even as I mourn, to resume the many
and varied duties the days require, while shouldering
the shifting load of grief. So give me grace, O God,
to learn new ways to navigate the old routines of school
or work, of chores and church, of exercising, planning meals,
paying bills, meeting friends, or taking recreation.
Shepherd me as I reintegrate such activities into my life,
their familiar patterns now made strange by this
new underlayment of sadness. These next steps will surely
be stumbling and faltering, O Christ.
I doubt I will always have the strength they require.
So remind my hesitant heart that I need not
muster in myself some stoic resolve that was never there.
For you, O Lord, have promised never to leave me
or forsake me. I am yours. And it is by and in
your power that even my present weakness is met and held.
You do not ask me to be strong,
but to trust in your strength.

A Liturgy for Returning to Daily Life After a Loss – Every moment Holy Volume II: Death, Grief and Hope

I’m learning to give myself the space to grieve. Weeping when the tears come and enjoying the simple joys the Lord highlights (the laughter of nieces and nephews, a beautiful sunrise, or a chapter in a book). Especially sweet is the retelling of Dad stories. My heart and mind long to not forget any details about Dad. I’ve loved hearing stories from all the people who have known him! There have been childhood, college, family, work, and friendship stories. Everyone has a sweet memory of Dad. What a blessing to have had him as my dad!

My desire to keep the memory of Dad alive has made me think of others who have lost loved ones. What stories do they cherish? What stories do they want to share? God is a God of stories! Through my season of grief, my prayer is to allow the Lord to create space for sharing stories of loved ones.

You do not ask me to find my way alone, but to follow you.
You do not ask me to be aught but what you have called me
to be: a disciple who for love and gratitude still walks
the path you have marked out for me, even now,
when it is shaped by this holy stewardship of grief.
During this season in which I must adapt to great loss
and change, let me heart be fresh-anchored
in your faithfulness, renewed by your Spirit,
and refreshed by your love.

A Liturgy for Returning to Daily Life After a Loss – Every moment Holy Volume II: Death, Grief and Hope

And in the telling of stories may we remember the faithfulness of the One who knows all the stories! Please feel free to share any memories or stories of your loved ones here. Or reach out in any way to me and we’ll have a conversation over coffee or tea. The people you have loved and have loved you well this side of heaven are important. I’d love to know them through you.

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4 thoughts on “Space to Remember

  1. So so very sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you. I lost my dad suddenly at the end of 2019 and the grief still comes in waves, some days are harder than others. Thank you for sharing your heart and remembering him through your blog. May the peace of God continue to strength and keep you during this time.

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