“Gone. The saddest word in language. In any language.” Mark Slouka, God’s Fool
My father is gone. Today, marks four years since that day when I witnessed the black hearse pull up to my childhood home. I watched as two men wheeled his body from my old room down the driveway into the vehicle. The door clanked shut.
Three days ago, I almost picked up the phone, dialed my old phone number, and I wanted to say, the words, “Hey, Dad, how are you doing?” Instead, I paused. I sunk into this realization: The last conversation with my father occurred four years ago.
At my sister’s wedding last year, at one particular moment, I remember sitting close to my mom, waiting for the newlywed couple to arrive. Tears started streaming in my insides because I did not want to upset my mom. My father, wanted so much to witness my sister’s new journey with her husband. In the last year before his passing, he often expressed that he would miss the joy of watching his youngest daughter marry. He said to me, “Rudri, make certain you take care of your sister. I worry about her.”
Every time I hear my friends talk about their fathers and watch as my own daughter talks to her father, it hits me. I will forever talk about my father in the past tense.
In random and unexpected moments, my daughter will tell me this, “Momma, I pray for Nana every night. I tell him I love him and miss him. And I ask God to help him feel better.”
The out-of-nowhere seconds catch me in a tenuous space. When I hear the words cancer, intersect with a breathing machine, receive mail with my father’s name on it, and when my mother bursts into tears, I freeze. I don’t know what to do.
I drove, two days after the cremation, to the funeral home. I picked up my father. His whole lifetime contained in a box.
Four years, Dad. I love you. I miss you.
Wish I was right beside you so I could give you a hug. ((you))
Certain moments recycle the grief like nothing else. It both honors those we love who are gone, and makes the pain all too fresh.
Hang on to the good stories you have to pass along. And the love you will have forever.
This is beautiful, Rudri. And you know I get it. Xox
Sending love and a virtual hug to you today. You’re in my thoughts. xo
So hard , so heartbreaking…gone ..I feel you, I am thinking of you and I know your pain. Hugs and love to you.
Big hugs to you today, Rudri. I can’t begin to imagine how painful this is for you.
It’s so hard to lose a loved one. Take solace in the fact that you will never find the word “gone” in your heart. He’ll live on there and in your memories forever. Hugs to you.
Very powerful post…so beautifully written. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending vibes of support and strength.
Oh, it’s hard. So hard. Let those tears come, friend.
No. What your father gave you is never gone. He gave you the power to argue. The power to wonder. The power to never let go. With his death and attitude toward it, he left you with that mystery, perhaps because he knew that you would rise to your greatest strengths from arguing with that mystery. He did that so he would indeed never be considered gone. Because he’s not. You honor him with every breath you take, by embracing and both loving and hating that mystery. Your greatest strengths, your journey as a person are indeed at their best when you have allowed yourself to be challenged by that vulnerability. I love you friend. – Renee
Thinking of you. xoxo
Amazing post. Beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Your dad cherishes you as you cherish him. Gone but not forgotten and obviously immensely loved.