My father passed away three weeks ago and losing him has been much harder than I imagined. After all, I’m a grown woman with adult children. My dad and I didn’t live near each other so he wasn’t part of my everyday life. We spoke on the phone from time to time, but only saw each other once or twice a year. My dad hadn’t been in good health, and recently his quality of life had deteriorated greatly. I know he is now pain free, and I know he is at peace with his Heavenly Father. And yet, my heart is broken. My sadness is deeper than I thought it would be, and thoughts of my father are with me everyday. Why? Because no matter how old I am or how much time we did, or did not, spend together; he was my dad. And I loved him very much.
On Saturday, July 6, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of my father. He was a good man—a Godly man—a man whose life was definitely worth remembering. We celebrated with instrumental music, with songs of praise, with scripture, with prayers, and with thoughtful words from his pastor. We told stories about special times we had shared. We laughed, we cried, we sang, and we gathered for food and for fellowship. We remembered him together. And our Heavenly Father was right there with us.
For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” ~Matthew 18:20
Remembering together is so much better than remembering alone. We were able to help each other remember things some of us may have forgotten. We were able to share our own special experiences with Dad that others may not have known about. We reminded each other of his sense of humor, his love for music, his love of mountain climbing, his gift with words, and so much more. Together we found joy in the midst of our sadness. Together, we gave, and received, encouragement and strength as we honored this man that we all loved. And together, we were reminded that, although Dad is not with us any longer, we still have each other. We are all a part of his legacy.
I would not want to travel this journey of grief without my family and friends walking beside me. If you are given the opportunity, I hope you will reach out to walk with someone when they need you. Remember, when two or three gather together as followers of Christ, God is right there with them.
Yes, together is definitely better.