Grief introduced itself to me in 2005 when my dad passed on. It was sudden and unexpected, and it tore me into pieces. Dad’s passing left a huge vacuum in my soul, and Grief moved in surreptitiously, much like an uninvited guest.
Grief made the sense of loss excruciating. It hit hard at the core of my being. I felt the raw pain of dad’s death crushing its full weight upon my will and spirit, numbing my emotions. Tears prevailed where words failed. It was as if Grief was an invisible enemy bent on destroying me. I felt weakened by the weight of Grief’s bearing down on me. I could not get away from Grief’s hold. For months, I was in Grief’s bondage. Sleep, when it came, was the only escape, but many a time, even that eluded me. In every way, Grief seemed a formidable foe…
Yet, it was grief that opened my eyes to many realities.
It was through grief that I experienced love’s immortality. Death took my dad physically from me forever but no one, not even death, can take away the beautiful memories I have of him, ingrained in my heart and mind. I remember the good old days when I was a child of six and dad taught me how to ride a bicycle. He let go all of a sudden and it gripped me with fear. But I never fell even once because dad had planted the seed of confidence in me. Dad was the one who fossilized the importance and value of education in me. Through his generosity dad taught me kindness, through his humbleness, humility and through his piety, God.
Grief…seemed like a friend pointing out the best even in the worst of situation.
Grief even taught me a lesson in Science. Dad contributed 23 chromosomes that created the very human form of me. It was a humbling realization that dawned upon me. I have his genes and through it I have inherited so many of his features and traits…dad is still alive in that sense, as he is very much a part of me. Grief, helped me see that in more ways than one, victory is not all death’s.
Grief taught me to turn to faith for consolation. In the shadow of my sorrow, I found God’s silent words comforting. I knew dad is with the Creator and he is free from all pain. It was God who chose him, among the billions in the world, to be my father. Dad, will always be special to God and to me. Death can never change that fact, ever.
I wonder if grief was overjoyed when I stood by dad’s coffin and touched his icy cold hands and asked him softly if he was lonely when he bade goodbye. Did grief feel victorious when I was overwhelmed by guilt for not being by dad’s side when he breathed his last? Or did grief, like a faithful friend, grieve with me?
Grief has laid the cards on the table for me to see. I know that part of me died the day that dad died, never to be revived. Grief came as a foe in my life and transformed itself into a friend. For my loss, I will grieve for a lifetime, but the subtle knowledge taught by grief will remain a blessing that will help me continue with this journey of life with optimism.