Monday, October 09, 2006

The Return of Mourning

This morning, I found myself fighting back tears. One of the parents of a Lower School student died this morning and I found myself weeping not just for the child’s loss, but for my own. This sort of thing hits too close to home for me. I was the same age as this child when my father died. One would think that at the age of 50, I would have reached some closure about my father’s death. But it still sneaks up on me and hits me hard from time to time. The clearest memory I have of that time is my father’s death. I can’t remember most of my classmates and for the most part I don’t remember much of anything about the first two years of school. What I do remember vividly is my father’s death: Hearing the noise he made when he had the heart attack; kneeling alongside my parents’ bed as the priest, illuminated by the bedside lamp, gave my father the last rites; going into the kitchen the next morning to tell my mother not to worry, that Daddy would wake up only to be gently told that he would not.

But it will be all right again. I have learned to let myself cry when these memories return and the pain strikes fresh in my heart. And I am, in some way thankful, because it means I still love my father and miss his presence in my life.

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