Saying the Final Goodbye to Dad

I started writing this last night and just could not focus enough to write decently about something we all go through when a loved parent dies and you say goodbye to them that day.

So I stopped trying to write, moped around the house a little, reflected back on the day I had spent with my family, thought some more about things I had always wanted to say to Dad, but never did and made it through the evening.

This morning after a good night’s sleep; my brain is a bit clearer, the eyes aren’t leaking as much and I can focus a bit more. It is time to try and write down some of the feelings that I am going through.

Being there when my father took his last breath was one of the most difficult things that I have ever done, but as difficult as that was, I also knew it was time for him to go and to stop the suffering he was enduring.

His passing over to the other side and now being with my mother and the rest of our family was a good thing for him.

However, saying goodbye to him yesterday was something that I did not expect to be as difficult as it turned out to be for me. While we were spreading his ashes the first time, it really hit home that I would never see my father again and judging from the reactions around me, my family felt the same way.

Yes, it was the finality of knowing that I would not be talking with him over lunch or driving him someplace anymore. I didn’t realize how important it was to me to know that I could go up and be able to listen to the stories of his life that he shared with me, the frank discussions we had about just about everything and just spending time with him.

Yep, I took it for granted that he would always be there. Now he is not.

That life getting in the way stuff that seems to happen to us all, especially when it comes to spending enough time with people you love, but do not live with you.

Saying goodbye was definitely made easier having Steve, Diana, Barb and my nephew Grady there.

However, at the same time saying goodbye to Dad was one of those things I had to do for myself, no one else can do it for you – just like everyone else.

Due to how things worked out, I got to spend a lot of time in my truck to think about how I was feeling and by the end of the day, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on my emotions. However, as you can tell from the beginning, not completely, but pretty good. This morning things are a lot better.

Emotions – something that I am not all that good at showing publicly or even to others who are close to me most of the time. So it was a good thing that Bennie was the only passenger with me. He listened good, put his head on my leg when I had some leaky eyes and put up with me all day.

Enough of that stuff.

I for one and am fairly certain that my family will agree, that is was a good thing that Dad did not want all the fuss and muss that goes into having a public wake. Something where the community is able to express their sorrow for our loss.

While the people attending a wake are usually (but not always) well intentioned. Quite honestly from my point of view and experience, it is more painful for family members to stand there and listen to the stories, platitudes and other comments that so often do not resemble the actual person that they knew who died.

I really believe it was easier for us to remember Dad privately. We are not the most politically or socially correct family and I have a feeling that some of the people who really do not know my family would have been aghast at some of the comments that were made yesterday or probably would have been said by us to others, if there had been a wake.

However, it is who we are and I have a feeling that Mom and Dad were laughing their asses off at some of the comments that were made over the course of the day. I know that I laughed and chuckled more than a few times.

When I left my Sister’s house at the end of the day, it was with conflicting emotions. Dad’s death has brought changes to our lives and moving forward, I am sure that his being gone will result in even more change.

We had been family again for past week, but unfortunately, as we have grown into adults, like most families in today’s world we have grown apart by the miles, professions, lifestyles and our own immediate family obligations. Our lives and worlds have gone in multiple directions and I suppose that it will continue to be that way.

However, I know that we will all miss Dad, of that I have no doubt and while each of us had a different relationship with him, I know that he loved us all for who we were.

Though our feelings for him ebbed and flowed over the years (like any relationship), at the end we all realized how much we loved him and it was difficult for all of us to say goodbye yesterday.

Now it is time for us to get back to living our lives, tending to our families and enjoying the hell out of the time we have left on this side of whatever comes next.

I know will always remember and love you.

Goodbye Dad…some of the hardest words I have ever said.


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