As I walked in, a wonderful sense of Love came over me. And then without even realizing it, there were tears streaming down my cheeks as I walked from the back of the room past all the pews, closer to the front of the church.
I had gone to sit in the quiet of the beautiful cathedral here in downtown Atlanta. It’s a place I’ve been going for many, many years, and I consider it my spiritual home. I have many times gone there to sit in the quiet the chapel, or been in my own thoughts on a spring day in the little garden Courtyard. Today I just needed to be in quiet contemplation and Remembrance as I sat in the huge Cathedral, below all the stained glass, staring up at the altar, and crying.
This is a hard week for me. They say that the anniversary of a loved one’s death gets a little easier every year. And to some extent that is true. I don’t think you ever get over losing your parents though. But you do learn to live, function and be happy in the “new normal.” And indeed I have. I am even thriving.
And yet here I am, this week, with the memories and thoughts, and missing my Dad so much. I feel as though I have my PhD in grief, and grief management. A very specialized doctorate, it comes after a great deal of Blood, Sweat, tears, and experience.
And as I reflect this week, not only on everything that happened two years ago, but of everything that has happened since. I think, I hope, that my father would be proud of me. I’m thankful every single day, and so very careful not to take any of the goodness that is in my life now for granted. This life, that I have been given, and so blessed to have, is truly amazing and wonderful. I’ve come a long way and many lifetimes since that day two years ago.
And so later on this week, when it is the actual anniversary, I will take time to reflect, and cry, and laugh, and celebrate. I will celebrate my father’s life, the beautiful and wonderful time we had together, and all the victories that I have overcome since. I have that day planned, something I know to do that will honor him, and celebrate this life that has been graciously given to me. This week I will also have love and thankfulness in my heart.
So every year, on the anniversaries of their deaths, I decided not to do anything sad or depressing. I will do something on each of those days to honorand and celebrate them and this beautiful life. And so the tradition continues.
Life is short. Feel all you can, love all you can, cry, and laugh, and miss them all you can. Honor them all you can. And mostly, live your life fully, all you can.
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