Have you ever lost the person you loved most in the world? Have you ever dealt with the numb pain of saying good-bye forever, as you try to move forward without a chunk of your heart?
Though I cannot say for sure what day my Godfather died, I believe today marks the anniversary of his death.
Though it’s been a long time, the pain feels more raw than it ever has, yet at the same time, my heart is exploding with joy because I got to have him in my life. Celebration permeates my world, as I feel gratitude for the legacy he left behind. Most importantly, peaceful closure gently flows through my being as I realize it’s okay to feel sad and it’s okay to own that losing my Godfather was like losing my dad. It’s okay to say what he was to me and it’s okay to say good-bye. It’s okay to go home.
Recently, I received an e-mail from a woman named Diana. I have never met her before and the only connection we share is through her reading my blog. After reading my recent post, “There’s No Place Like Home,” she felt an urge to reach out and share her story.
She told me that after losing her mom (actually her Grandmother who adopted her) in 2005, that she has not felt at home, she has stayed with different people and she even contemplated living in her car for a while. Diana went on to say that the powerful connection and love that she and her mother shared was her home.
This e-mail served as a big catalyst in understanding my own story.
Though my Godfather was not responsible for me on paper, he was my dad. He was there since the day I was born and we shared a powerful connection until the day he died. When he stopped existing in human form, I lost any sense of home. Once the connection of love was severed without my permission, I lost my roots as well as that ever so important feeling of belonging.
I’m reminded of something a widow said to me a few years ago, when describing her husband’s death, “He was just such a wonderful man…. why do the good ones always have to leave so soon?”
Why do they have to leave so soon?
My Godfather was only 50 when he died. He was an incredibly vibrant soul who had a lot more living and loving left in him. His heart exploded with love and he was a light to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. Though he never had any biological children of his own, he was probably the best dad in the world. He had an uncanny ability to be a kid and a grown-up all at the same time, which made him a loving, compassionate, fun and aware kind of parent.
So why did he have to leave so soon?
I don’t know. I can say from my experience that maybe John gave me everything he was supposed to while he was here. Maybe when he left, he completed the contract that our souls drew up before coming into human form in order to play out our roles. Maybe we signed up for him to leave me behind because part of my path is coping with the loss and learning how to define home. Maybe he taught me how to love so that I may provide the same sort of support, joy and missing link that someone else has in their life.
Only time will tell.
However, since I want to go to an actual physical place and make that space feel like home, I see that something must be done on my part. If I don’t do something to stop this cycle, I will forever be wandering around looking for something to fill the void. I don’t want that. I want to be aware of my actions. I want to heal. I want to be whole. Most of all, I want to go home, so that I may recuperate in order to truly share myself and show up as a whole person in my future home as well as in future relationships and in relation to my purpose for being alive.
The other night in my Women’s Group, I shared the feeling of loss that was coming back for a visit. I told them when I found out he died, I only cried once and until a few weeks ago, I never started to deal with the pain, or the loss and never found official closure. By doing this, I never took ownership for my story and the loss of a parent. Through tears, I shared how when he died I locked myself in the bathroom with the faucet running to drown out the sound of my grief. When I found out that he died, I didn’t feel safe or trust anyone enough to allow myself to be vulnerable. John was the one I wanted and he was gone.
After hearing my grief, it was suggested that next week, we hold a memorial service for my Godfather. I choked out a “Yes, I would like that” and looked up to see many sets of loving eyes commit to being there. One woman even said, “And this time, we will all go into the bathroom with you and you will not be alone.”
A few days later, I called our local hospice to inquire about grief support groups and I was told that having an official ceremony is so important to finalizing the grief. The counselor also said that it’s never too late to attend a support group for this sort of thing. Apparently, last year, there was an 85- year old woman who lost someone in the 1950’s to suicide and decided to attend a group because she didn’t want to die without the closure. I was also informed that sometimes, like I am seeing in my own life, when someone dies, certain patterns are born as people try to cope with the loss, and that is why it’s smart to attend grief groups sometimes more than once.
All of this information was refreshing for me to hear. It reminded me that I am not alone and I am not abnormal for feeling the way I do. I am grateful that the pieces to my own puzzle are coming together and falling into place so easily. I am even more grateful that those who are a part of my life are not judging what I’m going through… in fact they are encouraging me to keep going in order to find that closure.
For the first time in my life, I don’t feel guilty sharing my pain. I’m not judging myself and I know without a shadow of doubt that this is the first step to the way home.
Recently, I asked for new problems. One of the new problems I want is living in my own home (or apt… I’m not picky), and I am seeing the way to that home is revealing itself. Sometimes, in order to get the things we do want, we have to release the things that are no longer serving us.
Though my Godfather will always live in my heart, I am ready to surrender the story and patterns his death brought into my life. Through this surrender, I know my home will reveal itself.
Diana sent this movie clip to me. It is something she uses for inspiration and she thought it might speak to me too. I actually do appreciate it. As I seek out the truth of my own story, the rest of the mystery will naturally reveal itself. As I seek, so shall I find.
I’m going home.