Friday, March 30, 2012

Losing A Parent

I was absolutely not planning on writing this post ever, but I just feel a tug on my heart to do it, who knows maybe someone might Google this title and find this page and it'll help them.

Before I start this however, I'd just like to say, this isn't a series of sad "poor me" posts. Obviously, you never get over the loss of a loved one, but I can honestly promise you, that right now, I'm free of all the pain and anger that I carried for the longest time. I definitely went off the deep end. I got into toxic relationships, I quit school, I drank, I basically threw my life to hell, but I smile now because those reactions, all those mistakes don't define me now and aren't baggage that I'm forced to carry into my future.

This is pretty long and you might not get to read all of it, so let me kinda put the ending at the beginning, the theme of the story:

 I don't have all the answers. All I have is my experience. You're angry at God, fine, be angry, go to Him and tell Him. Vent! Let it all out and dare Him to respond to you. I cannot tell you how many times I started a prayer and ended up screaming into my pillow or hitting my mattress with a tennis racket. For me, it was two years until I realized He answered me a long time ago. He will respond. His M.O is love. That love is unrelenting. I guarantee it.

My dad died 18th August 2009. Which coincidentally is also my sister's birthday. I remember I woke up, and I heard my cousin crying. He was hired by my mom to take care of my dad, because by the end, the cancer had affected so much of his brain, he couldn't walk, talk or move by himself. We didn't want him in the hospital and he'd finished all his treatments, so he was home, in the downstairs guest bedroom.

When I heard my cousin crying, I kinda scoffed and thought what is up with this guy, but at the back of my head I knew.

I went downstairs and turned on the TV and "My Sacrifice" by Creed was playing on Kiss TV. I tried, but I just couldn't ignore the feeling, and I was trying so hard to hear what was going on, and I was like, "dad, please move, let the bed creak so I can hear you." I couldn't stand it anymore, and I couldn't imagine going into that room and seeing what was going on and why my cousin was crying. I couldn't bring myself to ask him.

So I went back upstairs and I called my mom at work and asked her why Robby was crying. She told me she didn't know and she said she'd call him. I guess she did and Robby told her to come home. A couple of minutes later, one of my mom's friends (our neighbor) came over with her son, and said my mom had sent her and she asked me what was wrong, I told her I didn't know, but obviously by then my feelings had been confirmed.

Source: via Mary on Pinterest

She and her son went to the room and she came out crying weeping, and she asked me "how long has he been like that?" I still acted oblivious and was like, "how?" At that moment Robby came up to me and said, "I just have to tell you, your dad is gone." I told him to shut up and I left the house. I hadn't told my best friend Mich, that my dad had been sick for the past 8 months, so I called her, and I couldn't even say the words, so I hung up and texted her, in about 2 hours she was at my house from the other side of the city. (I Love Her) Then I called another friend of mine from Church so she'd spread the word. After that, I went into our car and I just hid out in there for a few minutes. (I realize now it might have been a couple of hours, because visitors had started pouring in and I hadn't even noticed. In the car I was Googling, "How to get over my dad's death." Yeah, me and Google have a close relationship.

Then my mom got home, and I remember I was relieved, but then I realized her focus wasn't on me at that moment, she had her own grief to deal with. Still in the car, I heard her just bawling and peeked in and saw people leading her out of my dad's room. I couldn't go see her, I was just so scared. Next my sister came in with her husband, and same thing, she went straight to the room and bawled and my brother in law was just holding her and almost like dragging her out, and they went into the backyard so my sister could be alone.

I was just in the car watching people go in and out. I don't know if people noticed me and were giving me space or didn't see me at all. Finally Michelle got there, and I don't know how, but news got on Facebook and my other good friend Nasho let people form my school know. I deactivated my Facebook. I just didn't think I could handle condolence messages on a social media site. I'm not a status update.

I remember my friends coming over in groups, and honestly, I got the value of having people come over. I always thought it would be so intrusive and I wouldn't want that, but trust me, you appreciate so much. Death can make you feel totally alone and disconnected and in those moments you realize you're not. Which also explains why my mom, my sister and I slept in the same bed for a week!

The next few days were just a blur. Finally the day of the funeral was here, and I was determined not to cry. But Oh My God, going up-country to "the family home" was the worst, because I was just thinking of all the times I'd made that trip with my dad. Looking around at all the changes that my dad wouldn't see and when we got there seeing how my dad had left his tools and clothes and stuff during his last trip there and now he'd never get to use them or see the farm he'd loved and worked so hard to build. I was in the car with Mich and some relatives I don't know and my eldest cousin was driving. Then we got pulled over for speeding and I was sure we'd miss the funeral.

We got there and I joked with my mom about how we were pulled over and she smiled and I was like "God, you have to make sure my om laughs again. How am I ever going to see my mom laugh again."

I held it together (barely) until it came time to lay the casket down. Then that whole wave of emotions came crashing down on me. There was dust flying around as people filled the grave and I was choking and it was just confusing as people I don't even know were all bawling, and I was mad because, hello, he's my dad and you don't see me acting a fool.

All I was thinking was "I'm never going to see his hands again, I'm never going to see his hands again" My dad had amazing hands. Seriously, his nails looked professionally manicured. People say I have soft cute hands, yeah my dad's were better. Maybe not soft because he was a tools guy, but beautiful. He wrote beautifully, he made beautiful things. I could not get over the fact that I wouldn't see his hands again. I think I was at this point "ugly crying" and choking on dust. You know, that cry where you're gasping through your throat and you feel like you're hyperventilating.

My uncle yelled, "someone get her out of here" and Michelle came up and walked/dragged me away. I can't remember anything after that except my sister coming up and hugging me and not letting go. Suddenly it was nighttime, and we were just sitting outside in the stars, everyone had left. It was me and my cousins. I guess I went to bed soon after that.


You guys know the rest of the story about my going off the deep end. I remember being so depressed wanting every single day to just die and not wake up the next day and being so angry with God, why would he do that to me. What had I done wrong? What had my mom done to deserve that? Why not take away and abusive father? Why mine, just at the time he'd gotten saved and was actually beginning to act like a real dad to me, telling me he loves me for the first time in my life? We could have been amazing. Life could have been incredible. To this day, I think of how my life could have ended up different.

God, though showed me, and is continuing to show me a lot. First of all in those hard months, I got a glimpse of my dad's heart toward me. He wasn't the touch feely type and we'd never had an emotional conversation. (Except for that one night I broke curfew and he told me "I've given you everything, how many kids have a TV in their room, how many kids get pocket money and school fees. Whatever you've asked I've given you.") Anyway, those few months, my dad's shell got broken and I saw how much he's always loved us, and how sorry he was for not showing us that.

I got back into Church, though yes, I did quit after he died, I got friends who were there for me and more than that, now I have a home church where I'm excited to serve and hopefully one day pastor in. I wouldn't have known about Mavuno Church if it wan't that.

Most importantly, I realized the transience of life and what it means to completely surrender. Will you love God when he takes away everything? Right now, I can say yes. I realized the purpose of life isn't to live here on earth. The purpose of life is to love here on earth; all the way to heaven. Was my dad dying part of God's purpose for him? No. (Bear with me here I'm getting to my point.) Dying, breaking my heart, this wasn't God's purpose for my dad's life or mine. My purpose, your purpose, the reason we were made is to love God. Wherever my dad is, (maybe in heaven worshiping) because he's saved, he's living his purpose of loving God. Right here, I'm living my purpose of loving God through the storms of this life.

Why them did he make us? Why life? Why earth? These are some tough questions and I probably, don't have the right answer but God made this world for His creation to dwell in as we continue to love on Him, so that we can live in the power of His love and fellowship. So he can continue to build us in becoming His sons and daughters in heaven. We were created as special beings, in the image of God. Whatever heaven holds, its worth the pain on earth. When we get to heaven, none of this stuff will matter. The All-Consuming FIRE, the Passionate Lover, the Jealous God, He'll be lavishing us with His love, and we'll be so consumed by that love that all we'll be doing in heaven is loving God and we can start that right here on earth.


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