My dad died 31 years ago today. It was not unexpected, but that did’t negate the feelings of finality of such a death. Although I had had several months to get used to the idea that he was dying (he had gone in the nursing home in August of the previous year after several strokes), it still felt like a shock to me. Seeing my dad in that coffin took my breath away, just by the pure realization of finality right in front of me. When someone dies, you no longer have the opportunity of resolving differences, creating new memories, or just sitting and talking. Everything you had together was in the past; there is no future with that person.
I’m a lot more like my dad, personality-wise, than I am my mom and I was closer to my dad than my mom. I tend to be independent, stoic, never ask for help. My sister is more emotional and relational like my mom was. Jason was a lot like me.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about my dad today. I wish my kids had had a chance to know him better – maybe a younger version of himself before he was so ill. They were quite young when he died. They really would have loved really knowing him. We lived a long way apart, so we didn’t get to see them much. Distances are hard on establishing or maintaining close relationships.
I have written about him before: https://onewomansperspective02.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/happy-fathers-day/ and https://onewomansperspective02.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/lost-in-thought-on-a-sunday-morning/
I think one of the most encouraging things that happened since Dad’s memorial service was when someone found my blog online and posted the following comment:
When I was young in the early 1970′s, my father would take me fishing and hunting with him in Wyoming. We spent lots of time around LaBarge Wyoming. On Sundays, as we drove along beautiful rivers and streams near the Salt River Range and the Wyoming Range, my dad always found ‘The Singing Knudsens’ on the radio. I believe it was KMER, the radio station out of Kemmerer. We thought you guys were great. I remember thinking how brave you must have been to sing on the radio. I think about those times a lot because I was very close to my father. Those were such incredible times. I was just thinking about LaBarge, my dad, and listening to the Singing Knudsons. I searched the internet and found you here. I have three sons of my own now. I was truly heartbroken when I read your story. I can not imagine losing one of my boys. I wonder if I could even survive it. You and your family will always be very special to me. I wish happiness and love to you and your family always. Thank you for bringing much to mine.
I was so thankful that he took the time to share these memories, even though it was so many, many years later. A fellow blogger, Melanie DeSimone, recently wrote a post entitled “Child Loss: Helpful Tips for Interacting With Bereaved Families.” One of the tips was: “It’s never too late to reach out. NEVER.” So true. No matter how many years it had been, it was so nice to hear these memories of my dad and for Peter to let me know that he remembered.
Let people know you remember their loved ones. It could mean the world to them.
© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney