Saturday, April 2, 2016

In Lieu of a Funeral

I had been planning to go out of town with some friends and just have a relaxing weekend of writing and nature at a house called, "Serenity" (I didn't make this up, the house above is actually called that).   I needed it.  I was beyond exhausted and it had been a particularly bad week at work.  In fact, by Tuesday evening I was already done with the week and ready for Friday, which is never a good sign.  Then, on Wednesday morning, I received a phone call from my Brother and Sister-in-law. My Brother informed me that my Stepfather, his Dad, was currently on life support.  We just lost our Mother less than two years ago and so if my Stepfather passed this would mean that my 25 year old brother would have lost both of his parents in two years time and at an incredibly young age.  Younger than me even.  My father passed away when I was 26 and my Mother at 32.   But there it was and there was nothing to be done.  A few hours later, my Brother informed me that he had passed away.
My Stepfather was a complicated man.  I can't say that we always got along.  I can't say that he isn't one of the main reasons I have issues with God or certain ideas about men. It was a long road with him and I had stopped hoping he would change about fifteen years ago or more.  And, although I never saw major change in him, the last time all three of us where in a room with him, he said he was proud of us.  He said that we should be proud of how we took care of our Mother.  With the type of story we had with him, that to me, was the best way we could have possibly ended our relationship with him.  For me, that was perfect.  The most anyone can hope for is that any of your parents would be proud of you and I had a Mother, Father and Stepfather who's last words to me where either, "I love you or I'm proud of you."  You can't make that happen.  My childhood was a struggle.  We had a sorted past, but that was the best way it could have possibly ended.  So, I decided to leave it there.  I decided that since it would have been nearly impossible for me to even get to the funeral, I would grieve in my own way.  I am so happy that my last picture of my Stepfather is a loving one.  That is truly a miracle and the vision I decided to keep in my heart.  So, today was the funeral and I didn't go.  I'm in a peaceful, serene setting picturing that last moment with my Stepfather and that's the best send off I can give him.  I am thinking about him, glad he is in a much better place.  Joyful he isn't suffering and blessed that I heard him say two all three of us, that he was proud of us.  So, although my week started out terribly and we had a major loss in the family; I've ended it with peace, joy and a bit of thankfulness.  Loss is hard, and we will suffer with the ramifications of this for a while.  But at least I can say Goodbye with gratitude in my heart for the token I was given.  And isn't that a win really?

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