Although not many people may talk about it, when a loved one dies after a long illness or battle, there is a sense of relief that comes for family members. It may not be overwhelming and it certainly doesn't lead to ecstatic feelings, but it's relief nonetheless.
In the 2 weeks since my dad died, I have come to realize just how on edge I had been. I was sleeping with my cell phone next to my bed. I was like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs every morning as I waited for the phone to ring to tell me that Dad had fallen or, worse, that he was gone. There was a constant anxiety of what to do, when to go see him again, of not being able to do enough.
In my trips back and forth to Williamsburg since Dad passed away, I have pondered about my state as I have driven. Over the last 2 years, so many of the trips that I have taken over to Williamsburg have been taken in uncertainty. I had no idea what I was going to face. The times that I took Dad to the doctor or out to lunch, I wondered how engaged he would be. As I drive over these days, there is none of that feeling, just a feeling of relieved emptiness.
The problem is that the process can't be complete and finished for a while. Now starts all of the legal affairs that need to be settled. Set things up for the estate. Settle all of the insurance. Clean out the house and get it on the market. It's helping me to see some helpful things that I can do for my own family to simplify things for them.
A year ago this month, my father's cardiologist told my aunt and I that he thought my dad had weeks. That was a fairly difficult blow to me. While I knew that he was not doing well, it hardly seemed so imminent. I decided that I was going to do my best to simplify things. So, as morbid as it sounds, I went over to the funeral home that we had used for my mom and pre-planned Dad's funeral. They made things fairly simple for me and I thought that it would be much better to do it all while I was not in the throes of grief. I never told my dad.
I like closure. I can't handle too many unresolved things hanging around in my life. I've gotten much more flexible as I have gotten older. Being married and having kids has that impact on people. 2013 has been a "hanging" year for me. There are a number of things that need resolution that might not come for some time. I just have to live with them and make the most of what is before me.
That's kind of the way life is though. Does anyone ever feel as if there is a constant state of resolution and relief in their life? I have a hard time projecting that and I think that it might be a pipe dream, so I won't get my hopes up. Roll with the changes, isn't that what REO Speedwagon says?
Today is a new day. 2013 will come and go, but I can't wish for it to end. Wishing your life away is a surefire way of missing things, letting things pass you by. I do not want to regret missed opportunities. I don't know what tomorrow brings, heck, I'm not even sure what will happen today, but does it matter? My responsibility isn't to know everything, it's to trust the One who does. If I really believe in the sovereignty of God, it's time to put my money where my mouth is and live it out.