I’m back writing again after almost 3 months of absence (since August). We were shocked by the sudden departure of our beloved father (from my wife’s side) on an early August 7th morning and changes came as me and my wife decided to move in with our mother, to comfort her as she was in a state of shock. This decision was made overnight and without any warning whatsoever.
Changes, when they come in too fast is hard to deal with. I have never had any experience like this before so it’s taking some time for me to handle. Losing someone you look up to and someone you rely on suddenly is tough to accept. I sometimes still knock my head just to see if all this is real or not, was that a dream or it really took place, a reality check that always come with the same sad answer.
His death is like a bell ringing in the ear. It rings in my ear telling me to take the responsibility as a husband in a deeper and more serious way. It creates a question of character, whether I can be a man of integrity like my dad or not, my father in law was a living proof that humility always wins and now I force myself to follow his footpath. I supress my self-confidence to a level where it would not grow as arrogance. I try to teach myself to lose in peace and humility than to win in arrogance and pride, just like my father. His death also rings for my wife in her own issues in her life as a wife and also as an individual. It rings for my brother in law as well as he now try to take charge more as a man, to be more serious in life, to be more caring and start giving back to the family.
Have you ever seen a man living in present time but his mind still attached to his past? I have and it feels like living a zombie life, the man himself told me. Your life becomes disconnected as you try to live life the way it used to be in the past. You try to live in a setting that doesn’t exist anymore. Subconciously you try to live as if your loved one is still there with you when he/she’s actually not. You keep their memories close, you keep doing the routines you used to do together just so that you can remember them always. You turn into a pillar of salt spiritually, like Lot’s wife who looked back and remembering her past. I can say this as I have gone through it and I am fully aware that usually men are faster to recover than women : It is normal and fine to mourn but it’s not good to keep mourning forever.
If mourning is a room and we’re in it, then a solid sign of the end of mourning would be when we go out from that room, lock it down and throw away the key. If we only get out for a meal and then return, that wouldn’t mean anything would it? If you go out, you lock the door but you’re still keeping the key with you, that would send a message that you’re feeling better but there’s a chance you might go back and mourn again. But when you go out, you lock it and Throw away the key, that is strong! It’s not a message anymore, it’s a DECLARATION! It’s saying “I’m done mourning, I love him, I keep his love in my heart and his memories behind. Now it’s time for me to live my life for the best and this is my declaration that nothing can put me back into that room, not even me!”. We all have to make our declaration. Something that not even we can undone. A father mourning for his daughter’s death was done when he decided to sell his old house where her memories lived and moved to another town. A wife’s mourning was done when she decided to donate all her late husband’s clothes to the poor. A mother mourning for her son’s death was done when she agreed with her husband to get pregnant again for the second time. A son decided to leave his old lifestyle and his ‘bad-influence” girlfriend to marry a simple woman as a declaration of honor to his late father.
I could say now that his death opens up our future to a broader extent. His death does NOT narrow down our choices, instead, it broadens it! His death brings us more options of what kind of person we want to be and what kind of life we want to have in the future! He set all of us free to do whatever we want with our future. He doesn’t want us to keep going down his path and maintain his legacy. NO, I strongly believe that is not what dad wants!. He has done a good job as God’s servant to provide us such good foundation of life so we can look ahead and take the opportunities God has provided and do our best with it. This was the essence of his recent conversations with us. Now his death has greatly enhanced that message to a much higher level. He doesn’t want us to live a limited life. He repeatedly played back his own story as a poor fatherless child who set out on an adventure to find the meaning of life. His death was the green light and it’s time for us to throw away the key to our mourning and comfort zone and start the race. It’s our time, we have learned from the best teacher and we have everything we need to go. We owe that declaration to dad and to the God he served, let’s make our declaration.