Pain Deserves Acknowledgement Not Judgment

 “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you.”  The Fault In Our Stars

To the person who thinks my grief is cumbersome…

To the person who felt the need to tell me HOW I should be grieving…

To the person who tried to put words in my dead father’s mouth not even a month after his passing…

To the person who has avoided me because of my grief and now our relationship is dead….

Grief is a personal journey with no time stamp.  I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you are fortunate enough to have not lost a person of monumental significance in your life yet. The saying “ignorance is bliss” holds true when it comes to death.

Perhaps you are unaware of the gut wrenching pain that occurs when losing someone who has held your hand since birth.  Perhaps you are unaware of the constant sting in your heart after losing your real life super hero. Perhaps you are unaware of the nightmares that begin after watching cancer dismantle someone you adore.   Perhaps my grief frightens you because it forces you to think of your own mortality and that of your loved ones.  Or just maybe in your very hectic life you forgot how important it is to show respect to your dead friend/family member by acting like a decent human being and showing kindness and respect to the deceased’s immediate family.

You see, when someone you adore dies, life as you know it takes a dramatic turn.  Despite how sick the person is, you can never prepare for life without the deceased.  You are basically learning how to live without this person in your life.  You search for various forms of life support as you endure overwhelming waves of grief.  And these waves of grief strike at the darndest little times, not just those expected firsts, I’m referring to moments when you’re minding your own business in the grocery store and a song comes on, or when you’re watching TV and a Hallmark commercial comes on.  And let me tell you, it’s those during those unexpected moments when those waves really knock you down.

First, let me say that our family is truly blessed to have such a strong support network. Death is funny, it has a way of exposing fair weathered friends and family.  You never think when someone is dying that people who were once in your inner circle are capable of such ignorance and ineptitude. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because life is so hectic we tend to forget what’s really important or maybe it’s because society has become so incredibly selfish.

Pain deserves acknowledgement not judgment.

Unfortunately for you I am aware of your actions during this extremely vulnerable time in my life, during perhaps one of the darkest times in my life. My father died, you remember him don’t you?   I watched you shed a tear or two as you approached his death bed, I listened as you proclaimed your “love” for him.  I watched you walk up to his casket and pay your last respects.  I watched you shed crocodile tears and make promises that were broken before the dirt was even tossed on my father’s casket.  I apologize for being so blunt, but death does that to you.

Death opens your eyes and closes your heart to some as an effort to survive.

That fateful evening I sat next to my dying father holding his hand, certain the sounds of my breaking heart were deafening.  I held the hand of the man who brought me into the world.  The hand of the man who taught me how to throw a baseball, how to dance while standing on top of his feet, how to drive, the incredible man who taught me how to find the good in everyone.

But I’m struggling with this, where is the good in a person who is too impatient and indignant to simply be there for a newly fatherless daughter?  Where is the good in a person who uses their self righteousness to justify treating a widow poorly when her world is completely shattered?

 “Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us”  Eric Hoffer

Maybe you can put your selfishness aside and consider that for the rest of my life, the rest of my mother’s life we will never be able to embrace my father’s comforting hug or hear his voice again.  Maybe what we need is your empathy and not judgment as we attempt to accept this new reality we never asked for.  Maybe you can truly recognize that our horrific loss and pain is greater than your need to tell us how to grieve and pass judgment.  Maybe you can recognize that our family has a permanent void in our lives and we need kindness and empathy.

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Finding Hope In Nature’s Signs

When someone you love dies you receive all sorts of advice from supportive individuals.  The first couple of days are a complete fog and you’re lucky if you can just get out of bed.  I had a difficult time speaking and just being around others.  I was so tired, I felt like a piece of me died.  I remember sitting in the funeral home helping my Mom with the arrangements and thinking the funeral director sounded like the Charlie Brown teacher at one point.  I began to quietly think to myself,  “Is this real life? Am I REALLY here?” Then I began to think, “I’m fatherless now.”  It was as if I was standing on the edge of a cliff looking into total darkness.  It was absolutely terrifying.

The death of a beloved is an amputation.
—C. S. Lewis

The death of a loved one is painful and confusing.  Mourning someone you love shocks your spirit and shatters your heart.  You feel a new hole or a void inside your heart that the deceased once occupied.  There are moments when you can actually hear your heart breaking into a million pieces. As you allow yourself to grieve and experience the ebb and sorrows of your grief, you will begin to see signs and realize that love never dies.

A few of my friends who have already walked this path immediately told me to “pay attention to nature.”  For the past six months I have been paying attention to nature.  In the beginning I honestly had no clue what I was supposed to be looking at.  My Dad died in January, so there really isn’t much nature running around in New Jersey.  But like most people when a loved one dies you become desperate to know if they are at peace, and for me that means are you eating again and what does heaven look like? 

Two days after we buried my Dad a feather fell from my bedroom ceiling.  Yes you read that right, a fluffy white feather fell from my bedroom ceiling.  I quickly did a perimeter check just in case.  Perhaps a bird was trapped in the ceiling, or we had something with down feathers hanging around.  But I’m allergic to down and there are no birds trapped in my ceiling.  Since then I have found enough feathers to build my own angel wings and visit heaven.  I save all my feathers in a mason jar on my nightstand to remind me that my father is at peace and that heaven is for real.  If I stare long enough, it looks like the feathers are dancing in the mason jar, waiving to me.

My first visit to the cemetery shortly after my father passed was terrifying.  The first blizzard of the season left us knee deep in snow, with a blast of frigid arctic temperatures.  But I NEEDED to go, I felt something tugging at me to go.  As I slowly made my way to my father’s snow covered grave I noticed a cat walking out of the wooded area from behind the headstones.  He made his way up to our family headstone and sat with me the entire visit..in the snow.  Tilting his head and meowing as I sobbed, carefully watching my every move.  As we slowly drove away, he stood tall observing, meowing .  Maybe he was a graveyard cat enduring arctic temperatures, maybe he was sent to comfort me during my first visit.  However that cat ended up at the cemetery, he was comforting during a very difficult time, and I will never forget his presence.   I made sure to snap his photo as we drove off.

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“Pay Attention to Nature”

Fast forward to six months after my Dad’s passing.  My signs are becoming stronger and distinct.  My dreams (the ones I can remember) are vivid.  My questions are always the same, “Are you eating again?” and “What is it like up there?” 

I am constantly observing my surroundings for signs from my Dad.  With each sign my Dad sends my way, I check for authenticity. (Sorry Dad, but you always taught me to be alert)  Each time I check for authenticity he sends another sign.  Each sign leaves me scratching my head and saying, “OMG is this real life?”  It’s like we are playing a game now, and anyone who knew my Dad knew he had a zest for life and loved a good game.  To say he was competitive is a massive understatement.

My latest blog post somehow connected me with Lisa Scrivens. I’m humbled and honored that somehow on the great big internet she found my little story.  I’m excited, anxious and nervous for our appointment in September.  I wrote my last post like I always do, to share my journey.  Writing is my feeble attempt to somehow come to grips with losing my Dad.  I never in a million years expected it to result in an appointment with someone as respected as Lisa Scrivens.  I truly believe my Dad had something to do with that. 

Following my email conversation with Lisa, I asked my Dad for guidance as I was sitting in my car. I asked him if I should speak with Lisa.   And of course I ended it with, “Are you eating again.”  Please understand, I’m human and skeptical as I walk this grief journey!  As I was bombarding him with questions I noticed a black bird flying, but kinda lingering in my eye’s view with a cookie in his mouth.  I tried to make eye contact with the bird, but I was driving and he was flying and that’s a recipe for disaster, as well as a little strange.  I simply continued my drive, now with tears rolling down my cheeks.

This could be a coincidence, maybe someone gave the bird a big cookie, or maybe just maybe it’s another sign from my Dad.  I’m going to believe that it’s a sign from my Dad.

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Photo Credit:  Pinterest

 

Heaven Now Has Cellular Service

IMG_2605My dead father called me this weekend. Yes, my dead father called me on my cell phone this weekend. He called my cell phone Saturday evening at exactly 7:01 PM.

Wait, what?

This is the part where some readers throw their hands up and say, “This poor woman has obviously lost her marbles while grieving her Dad.” Before you write me off, I have proof that my Dad called me this weekend.

When someone you love dies you lose pieces of them as time passes. Immediately the daily phone calls stop but little by little their scent fades from clothing, slowly their mail stops, and very, very slowly you stop looking for them in their favorite comfy chair. Gradually you accumulate significant pieces of them that are now gone, and accept that this is your new normal. You have moments when you are overwhelmed with the feeling that they are gone forever. Each new day brings a painful reminder of what was.

When my father was alive I had hope, I made it my mission to find someone who could help him. Someone who could restore his ability to eat again. ANYONE. I refused to accept that he would die yearning to eat. I wanted to believe that he would have just one more meal, one more drink with the family. Watching my father spend the final four years of his life surviving on a peg tube was my own personal hell. Towards the end of my father’s life I had a very difficult time being around an abundance of food; it was a painful reminder of what was taken from my Dad. I wanted my father’s ability to eat restored more than anything in the world. I prayed harder than I ever prayed, I begged and I searched the internet to find “the one.” I did all the things a good Catholic girl does when she prays for something, including not walking on sidewalk cracks. Sadly, I never found “the one” and my father died unable to eat or drink. This is something that has burned a hole in my heart and haunts me. I find myself lying awake at night thinking, “Why my father.”

This weekend was the six month anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I am amazed how six months can fly by, yet feel like an eternity. As the weekend progressed my anxiety began to build. The pain in my chest suddenly overpowering. The tears unstoppable. I found myself standing in my bathroom holding onto the counter while navigating the ebb and sorrow of my grief. I asked my father for a sign. Actually, I begged him for a sign, anything just please let me know you are eating again.

I asked for this sign, knowing full well that my Dad has been showing me signs since the moment he passed. He sends me beautiful fluffy white feathers, he speaks to me through music, he has blown out a few dozen light bulbs. He is constantly sending me signs. But like most humans, I’m greedy and I want solid confirmation that he is eating again. I really don’t know what I expected. Suddenly I was having a stare down with the bathroom light. I strangely resembled “Firestarter” staring into the light, like I expected it to blow up or something.

And then it happened.

My cell phone began to ring.

At first I was annoyed because I was preoccupied staring at the bathroom light waiting for my sign.  When I realized the light won our staring contest, I looked at my phone and then my IPAD (they are in synch)and saw “Dad.” I did what any “normal” human would do, I froze. I wasn’t afraid, I was shocked. I stared at the screen wide-eyed in disbelief. Right before my eyes were the letters “D-A-D” followed by his picture. I fumbled and quickly took a screenshot, because let’s be real no one is going to believe that my Dad has wireless service in heaven. I mean I can barely get service in my local grocery store, so this is amazing.

When I pressed accept he didn’t answer, but I quietly whispered, “I love you more Dad.”

I miss my Dad every single day, especially when the days takes me further and further from the last day I saw him, as I slowly begin to forget the sound of his voice, the sound of his laugh or his scent. Even in death my Dad is still my hero.  He finds ways to remind me that no matter what, he’s still with me, guiding and protecting me.

I love you Dad, this is not good-bye, this is only farewell.

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The Many Faces of Grief

Surviving the loss of a loved one is heart breaking and debilitating. Healing takes place on many levels.  Unfortunately grief does not arrive in a neat little box, it’s messy and chaotic.  It doesn’t matter if it’s expected or unexpected when you lose someone you love and adore you are in turmoil.

Six months ago my father passed after a very long battle with Stage IV base of the tongue cancer.  I thought I was prepared for his passing.  I had moments when I would watch my father suffer and beg God for mercy.  I would think to myself, how much agony can a human being endure?  Why my father?  He was a good man who loved God.  My father suffered the last four years of his life, his final weeks were heartbreaking.  I was given a front row seat to watch my father deteriorate before my eyes.  I felt alone, helpless, worthless and lost.  These were the darkest days of my life.

I write as an effort to try and understand why this happened to my hero, my father.  I write to memorialize my beautiful father with hopes of helping others living with the same ache in their hearts.

I thought I was prepared for his death, I even was given a grandiose Hollywood ending. We rallied in his hospital room and held his hands as he entered the afterlife.  I remember feeling the presence of God and loved ones who passed before my Dad.  The entire room was filled with love and the strong scents of those that passed before us.  At one point I remember being alone with my parents and becoming competely overpowered by the scent of flowers.  Roses to be exact.  It was the most wonderful, soothing feeling I ever experienced.  At the moment, we knew we were not alone.  We knew there was a presence greater than us, watching us, comforting us and guiding my father to a better place, guiding him to heaven.  I watched my father leave his body, the body that fought so hard to stay with his family, the body that was poked and prodded by doctors for so many years.  I watched my father’s soul leave his body that night and enter the gates of Heaven.  My father’s death is something that now is a part of me, something I hold it in my heart right next to the massive void now where he once lived.

I have always told my Dad how much I loved him but the night of his passing I told him I loved him incessantly.  In the midst of endless tears I whispered to him, “You can go Dad, we got this, we will take care of Mom.”  As I bravely uttered those words it was like someone was turning a knife in my heart.  What I really wanted to scream was, “Please don’t go Daddy, I don’t care that I’m an adult, I NEED you.”   But you really can’t scream that to a man who just spent the last four years of his life unable to eat, enduring endless pain and suffering.  There’s a point where you must accept God’s will and try to be “strong.”  The key word here is try.

Six months later and I still have moments when I feel like my heart is breaking all over again.  I have crushing, gut-busting, overwhelming, debilitating pain.  And what is shocking to me is these moments come rushing in when it’s least expected.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.  – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

If you’ve been reading my blog you know I spoke to my Dad daily, multiple times throughout the day.  He even programmed a special ring on the phone for both my sister and my calls.  When it rang he would yell, “It’s my Lisa Mia!”  For a while the National Anthem played when I called, I remember laughing and saying, “Dad, I’m not the President!”  He smiled and said, “You’re my Miss America!”  That was my Dad, he loved his family.

Towards the end of his life his pain made the phone calls a challenge, but I still called.  I would tell him, “Dad it’s just me, I just want you to know I love you more.”  He would struggle to speak, but he always found the strength to whisper between excruciating gasps of pain, “You will always be my baby and I will always love you more.”

As time ticks on and I slowly realize that my Dad is really gone the pain becomes unbearable.  When I celebrate an accomplishment, or create a new memory I search for my Dad.  When I need advice I search for my Dad.  When I need someone to cheer me on and tell me I can do it, I search for my Dad.  When the world is too loud and I need a hug I want my Dad.  I pretty much search for my Dad all the time.

Last week I decided to write on another topic close to my heart, Loving a Police Officer In Today’s Crazy World.  The article had an awesome response.  I was on a fabulous high, proud of my words, proud of this accomplishment, and then I felt a tugging at my heart.  I really wanted to call my Dad.  I wanted so badly to share this happy moment with my Dad.  I wanted him to read my words and give me honest feedback.  I went from elated to devastated in seconds.  One minute I was smiling then next I was sobbing, holding my chest gasping for air. Once again I felt like Jekyll and Hyde.

This is what grief looks like.  Grief is complicated, messy and unpredictable.  Grief is a thief, robbing you of joyful moments, leaving you drowning in sorrow.  Grief can be ugly, but it can also be beautiful sending you signs from loved ones showing you a beautiful life that once was. But as beautiful as those signs are, grief sucks the life out of you and leaves you on your knees begging for mercy, yearning for just one more conversation, one more hug, one more moment with that person.

 

 

The Liebster Award!!!

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First, I must apologize for taking so long to post this.  I am humbled that the lovely Ivy, Finding Ikigai and now the wonderful Christie Page have nominated me.   Both are two bloggers that I enjoy reading and truly respect.  I apologize for not doing this sooner, I’ve been distracted.  I hope you can both forgive me!

The Rules

1. Acknowledge the blogger(s) who nominated you
2. Provide 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer the 11 questions that you have been asked
4. Nominate 5-11 other newbie bloggers , you find interesting
5. Ask them 11 Questions

Facts About Me

  1. I’m obsessed with my Boston Terrier, Diesel.
  2. I drink an iced mocha coffee every single day, I’m shamessly addicted.
  3. I adore and am obsessed with my nieces.  I spoil them at every given opportunity.
  4. Family is everything to me, they are the reason why I write, to try and rationalize my father’s cancer and his suffering.
  5. I live across the street from the beach, I couldn’t imagine not living by the beach.
  6. I believe in Karma.
  7. I love my job 🙂
  8. I love to travel – the Caribbean is my favorite place to visit.
  9. I love meeting new people.
  10. I talk too much.
  11. I’m thankful for every single reader and every single share when I blog, it keeps my father’s memory alive and helps raise awareness for the brave battle he fought.

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Questions From My Nominator

1.What is your favourite animal? – Boston Terrier 
2. If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be? – myself – I firmly believe life is a gift to cherish.
3. What is your biggest accomplishment?  Aside from degrees, and other educational things – the ability to forgive.  We forgive so we can move on in life 🙂
4. What is your Starbucks drink of choice? iced mocha coffee with skim milk
5. What book would you recommend for me to read?
6. What is your biggest fear?  I fear that evil will destroy this beautiful world we live in
7. What is your favourite day of the week and why? – Saturday, who doesn’t love the weekend? 🙂
8. What three things would you take to a desert island? a book, sunscreen and a bottle of wine
9. What makes your smile, like wholeheartedly smile the most? my baby nieces, their love is unconditional 
10. What is the last song you heard?  Bruce Springsteen, Thunder Road
11. If I told you that you could do anything and you would not fail, what would you do? Figure out how to establish world peace. Seriously,why can’t we all just get along?

Questions For Fellow Bloggers

  1.  Why do you blog?
  2. What inspires you?
  3. If you could meet one person, anyone in the world, who would that be and why?
  4. What is your biggest fear?
  5. If you were given three wishes, anything, what would they be?
  6. What is your favorite drink?
  7. What is your favorite animal?
  8.  What is your favorite season?  Why?
  9. What skills or talents are you currently not using?
  10. What brings you tremendous joy?
  11. What dreams have you ignored, but it keeps coming back to you?

My Nominations

  1. That Which Influences Me
  2. Make It Ultra
  3. Lizaskysaregrey
  4. Travel Much
  5. My Blog For Life
  6. https://pritamode.wordpress.com/
  7. Sail Through My Thoughts

 

My Dad’s Death Made Me An Eavesdropper

There were a group of teenage girls hanging out at the mall today during lunch.  Armed with cell phones and lip gloss they were ready to conquer the world.

I watched a Dad in a BMW drop off the girls in front of the food court.  When the car door opened the girls charged out.  The Dad lingered and began calling his daughter.  I watched as she rolled her eyes and slowly made her way back.

I was paying more attention to the father daughter duo than my iced coffee and accidentally spilled some on my dress.  I was hypnotized.  Instantly my heart began to hurt, a little over five months ago my father died.  He was my biggest fan, my best friend and unconditionally loved me for me.

I watched as the father scolded the daughter for her very short shorts and “excessive” makeup.  I watched the girl stomp her feet, her shoulders slouch and eventually her entire body grew tense.  Her friends began to watch with me.  We all stood there staring anticipating their next move.

Eventually after some arguing and discipline the father drove away and the young girl skipped away with her friends.  She seemed defeated and angry.  I overheard her calling her father “Hitler” and “mean.”  She was “so done” with her Dad.

I wanted to run up and shake her.  I wanted to tell her, “Your Dad will always love you!  Someday he won’t be here! I wish my Dad was here right now yelling at me for short shorts and excessive make up!  You’re so lucky!” 

Didn’t she know her father was her biggest fan in life?  Like this guy really wanted a bunch of pubescent girls in his new BMW on this beautiful afternoon!  But that’s what father’s of daughters do they make sacrifices for their little girls and they love and protect them.

This past weekend on the beach I quietly observed a family enjoying a picture perfect Sunday at the Jersey shore.  Dad, Mom and their preteen daughter.   My chair had a bird’s eye view of the family.  Once again I observed like a creepy stalker.  Instantly, I became mesmerized.  I tried to not watch, but I couldn’t resist.  This family reminded me of my own family many years ago.

The Dad began telling his daughter he was not fond of her current boyfriend.  The daughter like most young girls thought Dad was totally clueless.  Her voice became high pitch and squeaky.  The Dad’s voice remained calm and concerned.  They sat facing the ocean discussing the daughter’s poor choice in boys for most of the afternoon.  The Dad kept telling his daughter he “only wanted what is best for her.”  At one point the daughter emerged from her beach chair and hugged her Dad.  It was a sight for sore eyes, it reminded of my younger self.

I wanted to high five the girl on the beach and tell her, “Love him, cherish him and tell him you appreciate him because someday he will not be here.”

To the Dads….We need your patience, we need your support, but above all else, we need to know that you are in our corner, unconditionally.  We are complicated and emotional but we will always need our Dads.  A woman’s father is her first love, he sets the expectations for how a man should treat a lady.

I’m blessed, I was given a lifetime with my Dad always on my side, always cheering me from the sidelines, always reminding me that I can do anything I set my mind to.

I miss my Dad every single second of the day, I miss our friendship and our beautiful rapport.  Friends, if you’re blessed to have your Dad still in your life hug him tight and never let go.  If you’re like me and your Dad is now your guardian angel take a moment to look up and whisper, “I love you.”

I miss my Dad.

For Better Or Worse: Loving a Police Officer In Today’s Crazy World

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Photo Credit:  Photo Credit: Pinterest

Be patient. Be kind. Be thankful for our police officers. This is a difficult time to be a police officer. This is an emotional time to love a police officer. This is a time when the sound of velcro at the end of a loved one’s shift is a glorious sound.

Please take a moment to check out my latest article featured on Her View From Home.

For Better Or Worse: Loving a Police Officer In Today’s Crazy World

Just Another Conversation With My Dad

 

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Photo Credit:  Favim.com

There is no such thing as waterproof mascara.  Seriously.  Anyone who tells you there is…they are lying.  I don’t care if you purchase your mascara at the drug store or over the counter in a fancy department store, there is NO SUCH THING.  I know this because since my Dad died I cry a lot.  I’ve tried them all and I’ve come to accept that raccoon eyes are in.

My grief is making me crazy.  I’m not kidding; normal things that are totally innocent make me snap at people.  Rewind to this morning.  My boyfriend and I were talking, smiling behaving like a normal happy couple.  Then he smiles and mentions “Oceanfest.” What’s Oceanfest?  Oceanfest is the biggest Fourth of July celebration at the Jersey Shore.  We have food galore, crafts, games and a spectacular fireworks display at the end of the day.  Nothing bad there, right?  Well I snapped at him.  I declared my distaste for this day filled of fun.  People eating fried oreos, zeppoles and all that other goodness?  People having fun? Nope, there will be none of that for me.  I grabbed my soap box and went bat shit crazy on him, ending my rant with how I’m eating healthy…forever.  Fortunately I’m with the most patient man in the world and he smiled, kissed me goodbye and left for work.  Poor guy, he only wanted a fried oreo.

And then the waterworks started.  Please remember I was almost out the door for work, so I looked somewhat presentable.  Within minutes I had mascara running down my face, I was a disaster.  All over Oceanfest?  Oceanfest is supposed to be fun!  It’s entertainment for EVERYONE!

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  This incredible day represented everything that was taken from my father before his death.  My Father died after a gruesome battle with Stage IV base of the tongue cancer.  He spent the last four years unable to eat a morsel of food or drink an ounce of liquid.  I couldn’t even give him a lousy sip of water on his death bed.  For me this celebration represented what was taken from my Dad and my family.

Sometimes during my grief journey my anger takes over and clouds my judgment.  It comes on strong like a hurricane and the rage is overwhelming.  For that moment fried oreos, zeppole, ice cream, anything that was being served at Oceanfest was in the line of fire with my poor boyfriend right in that bullseye.

I sound so logical right?

Well my Dad is a funny guy because he is the one who told me that during my car ride to work this morning.

Once again, from the afterlife my Dad is communicating with me.

And here’s how……

I scrambled to my car, put my Pandora radio on and began my 45 minute ride to work.

As I was driving I was talking out loud to my Dad, telling him,  “It’s not fair, why did God let you die unable to eat?”

At that very moment Don McLean’s “American Pie” came on the radio.  I pressed the forward button because I don’t even like that song and it played again.  I now punched the thumbs down button with my index finger and heard, “Bye, bye Miss American Pie” In an instant, my attention was completely drawn to my Pandora radio and this song that I never really liked (Sorry Don McLean).  Normally with Pandora you press thumbs down, the nice people at Pandora apologize for playing it and you NEVER ever hear that song again.  Well now that song played consecutively.   I was just yelling to my dead dad how it was unfair he died unable to eat, cursing out Oceanfest and “American Pie” was playing???

Okay!  I hear you Dad, but it’s still not fair!

And then my cries turned into sobs, gut wrenching sobs.

But wait, my Dad wasn’t done, when “American Pie” finished playing The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” came on.

My Dad is a funny guy in the afterlife.  He’s constantly sending me messages, normally in the form of feathers, sometimes music and other stuff.  My sobs turned into laughs and for that moment I felt my father’s loving presence in the car with me.

This grief journey sucks, I miss my Dad more and more each day.  But, I also consider myself blessed to be able to share these moments.  Blessed to have such a supportive group of loved ones by my side.  Blessed and thankful that even now my Dad is communicating with me.