The Hurt and The Healer

My dad passed away suddenly two weeks ago.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one week prior and we were still adjusting to that tragic news.  He was 61.  I never expected my mom to be a widow at 60.  Or my boys to lose their grandfather at such young ages.  Or Robb and I to be forced to maneuver through life without our dad.

Dad1

So I haven’t been writing.  I’ve been emotionally exhausted – literally, paralyzed by my grief at times.  And physically spent.  The immediacy at which things need to be done after one passes is overwhelming to say the least.  This is the first day I’ve come up for air.  Two weeks.  Fourteen days.  Enough sadness to last a lifetime.

Dad2

But as I’ve mentioned before, writing is cathartic for me.  It brings me peace and clarity and understanding – and I am hoping it will help me get through this very difficult time until the memories aren’t as painful and my reality no longer throbs like an open wound.

Dad4

I will write about my dad and being forever grateful that I was with him – and he was cognitively present – during his last 12 hours on Earth.  I will write about cancer prevention and how our lifestyles are an overwhelming determinant of our long-term health.  I will write about foods that bring healing.  And time that brings healing.  And, most importantly, faith that brings healing – God loves us beyond measure.  And how happiness is a choice in the midst of pain and sorrow.

Dad6

I choose to write.  I choose to trust God.  I choose to be happy.  I choose to honor my dad’s memory in every positive way I possibly can.

Dad5

Thank you for bearing with me during this very sad time of loss.  My family and I have been surrounded by goodness.  I will never underestimate the power of a phone call, a text, a card, an offer of help or support – simple things that have meant so very much.  While our hearts ache, we will continue to count our blessings and give thanks.

Dad3

10 thoughts on “The Hurt and The Healer

  1. Oh Leigh, I am so sorry. I lost my brother unexpectedly a year ago and I can relate to the paralysis of grief. I didn’t write for almost six months (except an obituary and a eulogy:(). Take your time and do what you need to heal. Your readers will still be here, I promise. Thinking of you, Allie.

    • Leigh,
      I can relate to that over whelming power of grief. I would talk with my father each and every day……so I continue to do that as I pray each day, but I miss his voice, his hugs and his infinite love for his family….especially his love for his grandbabies! I know your family is as close as we were. It is so very hard and it just breaks my heart to see my mom feel so lonely at times….I know you know what I mean. Please just give you family & yourself time to go through all of the different crazy emotions…..Lord knows, I’ve been through my share & so have mom & Jamie. Continue to share those wonderful memories of your father…..he was a fabulous man. I made Addy a book on Shutterfly that she reads all of the time that has pictures of her and Grandpa. One of my biggest fears was her forgetting him. Rest assured, she has not!! She will at times share memories with me, at times cry and want him back (I do too), and even talk to him…..honestly I feel his presence when she does!! Well I’ve talked too much, but I can relate to your situation in so many ways….so if ever you need to talk or even cry, sweet friend, please don’t hesitate to call or text. I love you and your family and continue to pray for strength & understanding.

  2. Beautifully written Leigh. I’m so glad you made it to see him before he died. You’re frequently in my thoughts.

  3. Leigh, we buried our mother one month to the day that you did your dad. We had the privilege of having her for 20 more years than you did your dad but it is never easy. May God wrap his loving arms around you and your mom and provide the comfort that only he can. God bless and take care.

  4. Leigh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad must have been a wonderful father and grandpa. He raised an amazing daughter, who is living by faith. He must have been so proud of you!

  5. Wonderfully written Leigh. I know your Dad must have been a wonderful man to have been married to such a wonderful woman as your dear Momma and to have helped in the raising in an amazing woman as yourself. I have no doubt that your brother is just as great. We at Centenary thank God that your Mom came into our lives this year and mourn with Susan and all of you at the sudden loss of your dear Daddy. Words cannot express the sadness we feel for all of you. Having lost both of my parents I know some of what you are feeling but not exactly how you are feeling as we all feel differently and my losses were not as sudden as yours – still heart wrenching but different. Please know that you are all in our prayers and that you and your family and that of your brothers are a testament to the wonderful man your Dad was and lives on in all of you. God bless.

  6. I’m so so sorry! I am 64 and I cannot imagine my family without me, or me without them!! I will enjoy my life more everyday having just read your story.

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