Grief is a natural response to losing a loved one. Your emotional response is very personal and takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried. What is important is that whatever your experience is, you need to be patient with yourself and allow your heart to follow the course that is best for you.
One Sunday afternoon when I was fifteen, my dad had a massive heart attack and collapsed in front of me. They resuscitated him at the hospital, but he never regained consciousness. For a week I sat by his bed and talked about anything and everything that came into my mind.
I knew he wasn’t going to make it.
I originally published a version of this article for The Open to Hope Foundation (www.opentohope.com) on July 24,2014 following my return from the national conference of the Compassionate Friends in Chicago. I recently found myself drawn to this piece, probably because this year’s Compassionate Friends national conference is drawing near.
As Father’s Day approaches, I remember my father not so much for the memories that we created when he was alive, but for the memories that he is helping me create now. My father, Austin Marion Roberts was only in my life for 5 years, after which time he left me and my mother Sadie.
My daughter Jeannine has been prominent in my thoughts lately. Since her death on March 1,2003 at the age of 18, due to cancer, there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not reminded of her presence in my life. The best of who Jeannine was in her lifetime is embodied in me and will forever be embodied in me.