My First Father's Day Without My Dad
This Father’s Day is by far the most significant to me. On that Sunday, when most people are firing up the grill or posting heartfelt photo shout-outs to their dads on Instagram, I will be experiencing the one year anniversary of my dad’s death. I wrote about losing him in a previous blog which you can read here. A lot of the rawness of grief of the first year has been replaced with stillness and, truly, with peace. But getting here was a process that was difficult and exhausting.
Where I Was a Year Ago…
The days following the passing of my dad were the strangest days. During the last week of his life in hospice, we had at least some semblance of responsibility. Trying to be a comforting voice when we didn’t even know if he could hear us, alerting nurses, numerous coffee runs. But after he passed, everything just stopped. All of a sudden there was nowhere to be or any expectations to talk to anyone or do anything. The emptiness and lack of distraction didn’t ease into my days, it hit like a bullet: quick and painful. It felt like my whole life would be like this. And I’m sure, on some level, it will be. But God has brought healing and comfort into my heart, just like He said He would (Psalm 34:18).
Where I Am Now…
Honestly, I’m in a weird place. This one year anniversary is looming over my head and taking over my thoughts. I’m afraid to miss him but I’m more afraid not to miss him. With the anniversary being on Father’s Day, it kind of feels like a cruel joke. Being surrounded by people LITERALLY celebrating their Dads is the worst scenario I can imagine.
God is SO good. He has proven to me over this past year all the things I already know but didn’t have space in my mind or heart to comprehend while grieving. Through prayer He’s reminded me that my dad is now forever young, healthy and forever at true peace. He’s reminded me through His Word that His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23). He has delivered newness and goodness into my life that I didn’t anticipate. A new role at work, new friendships and new ministry opportunities have been given to me by God this past year.
If you’re in the same place as me, without a father this Father’s Day, I hope that you are finding peace in the Lord. I pray that you are reminded of His absolute greatness and faithfulness even in the midst of pain. I have discovered there is a holiness and beauty in grief and I pray you can begin to see that as well. The following verse has encouraged me immensely this past year. It’s a reminder that the path towards healing requires us to get up and find strength because God has some work to do. I hope it can sustain you in the same way it has sustained me.
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.