Monday, June 13, 2011

Shining Through

The past two days have been sad, oh so sad, surreal and heartbreaking. 

My insides feel like a bag of broken glass.  I float from moment to moment; my emotions pinwheeling from knee-buckling grief to heartfelt gratitude in the blink of an eye. 

My family and I spent the day making all the difficult decisions that surround the death of a loved one. My Dad's absence shouts at us from every corner of every room; memories flash to the surface, bringing tears and sometimes laughter. There are moments of depthless anger at the unfairness of it all. I find myself shaking my head in disbelief, uttering no, no, no under my breath. Something as simple as packing my daughter's lunch today brought a body slam of grief: when I packed her lunch on Friday my Dad was still alive.

I treasure the first moments after I open my eyes in the morning; in those precious seconds I don't remember that he's gone.  Life feels normal again until WHAM - I'm fully awake and the cloak of sorrow settles on me once again.

But just under the surface of all this pain is profound gratitude, and it sustains me through these dark days. I dip into its waters and drink thirstily, and it fills my soul with light and peace.

I am grateful for all of your words of support.  I cannot express enough how much all of your comments and emails have meant to me over the past two days. I can't respond to everyone individually, but I am reading each and every one and they are sustaining me  Truly.

I am grateful to have had him in my life as long as I did.  I am grateful for the love and support that has enveloped me and my family.  People are surfacing from everywhere, bringing hugs, food and comforting words. I always understood my Dad was beloved by everyone who knew him, but seeing the depth to which he impacted peoples' lives, seeing it flow forth from the hearts and mouths of everyone who knew him, is stunning.  And beautiful.

My Dad taught me so much in his lifetime, but the most valuable thing I learned from him is compassion.  He gave back - tirelessly - to every community he served. He believed from the bottom of his heart in helping others, and he did this by giving his time, himself, to his community, his friends, to the less fortunate.  To us. 

He taught me that you get back from the world exactly what you put into it; if you bring light, love and compassion, then you will receive it in return.  And when you do?  You give it right back again. 

My Dad made me want to be the best person I can be, and it had nothing to do with material success, social stature, pedigree or prominence, and everything to do with serving, helping and giving of yourself.

Thank you, so much, for the outpouring of support you have given me and my family. We feel your love and your prayers; they are needed, and received with very grateful hearts.

I see my Dad's spirit shining through, everywhere I look. 


  1. Precious words. And all so familiar to me. Prayers are constant. And if you ever need to chat...we can figure out a way. Here if needed!

  2. Beautifully written, Ellie. More hugs to you and yours.

  3. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Ellie, what a beautiful post. I'm astonished at your courage and willlingness to feel this grief and share it all with us. Thank you for such a wonderful example and for being We are with you every step of the way. xoxo

  5. Even when enveloped in sorrow, you are a beautiful writer! What a wonderful way to commemorate the fullness and spirit of your father's life. I can see him in you, just from your words.

  6. Your post says all the things that one could hope to say about a father ... and you have written the most beautiful Father's Day tribute in all you said. Those are wonderful memories.

  7. I'm so glad there is something that gives you comfort when you need it. I can't imagine the loss you are experiencing. I don't want to imagine it. I'm so sorry for you and your family.

  8. I am just so very sorry. I know it hurts so much. I wish you grace and room to feel the feelings that you need to feel. Losing a parent hurts so much and grief sucks.

  9. I am so sorry to hear this. My prayers are with you and your family. My dad died in 1997 and I still miss him so very much.

  10. I am crying at my desk at work because your dad reminds me of mine. I wish I could be there to hug you. Just know I'm thinking about you today...