I feel it was predestined and my good fortune to be with both of my parents when they passed from this world. There is a mechanism that prevents us from ever really believing our parents will die. We know it on an intellectual level but in the heart it is impossible to even imagine the reality of such a thing.
I heard talk just about all of my life about how my father would not live long but I never for a moment believed it. His huge personality matched his size. His incredible love of life thrilled and inspired everyone that knew him. He seemed indestructible. Life without him could never be imagined. He died at the wheel of his car in front of my house one September day in my 26th year. Just like that. Gone. Over. He breathed his last breath in the middle of our conversation and life as I knew it came to an end. And that is just the way it can happen.
Death is a doorway not only for the one who passes but for those who remain. My father’s passing on that September day opened many doors. There was of course the doorway of grief. Once this doorway opens you must pass through the many levels that come with grief and in a way you feel as if you are dying yourself. As you move through the days and nights in a new reality that feels completely unreal you are faced with agonizing, unrelenting sorrow and terror that you feel will never end.
At the same time the doorway of love opens. Love is magnified. Love for the one you can no longer see, feel and touch. Love for the family and friends who come together in such unbearable sorrow. Love for every precious moment spent, every word ever uttered, every everything.
And then the doorway that saves opens, the doorway that creeks open and shines a small stream of light. It may hurt your eyes and you may not be sure just what this light is bringing but soon you begin to see the signs that this door of light and transformation offers. Signs that life never ends. Signs that they are with you still. Signs that love never ends and all you have to do is believe and all you have to do is open the new eyes that you have been given.
Missing and loving them goes on forever. Grief remains but the doorway of heaven is now open and miracles of love flow through the doorway and this is our saving grace.
Until we meet again……..
Photo of The Doorway to Heaven taken by me on the anniversary of my father’s passing when asking him for a sign.