Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I was 39 years old when my father died.  He and my mother were the most important people in the world to me along with my children.  My dad was the patriarch and the humor in our family.  A world class storyteller and a wit as sharp as a knife.  Growing up and just imagining losing him was unthinkable.  I fully expected his death to be the end of my life as well.  Up until his death I had never lost anyone close to me so I had no idea what to expect.  

My dad's death was sudden as far as deaths go.  He had never been seriously ill or in the hospital until then.  But one day he started having a problem with his bowel and went to the ER.  His colon was completed blocked by a tumor.  There was a question as to whether he would even survive the surgery but he did.  They removed 90% of his colon but he survived only to succumb to an asthma attack 7 days later.

The shocking thing about his death for me was not what I expected.  I had always anticipated I would crumble under the grief but that is not what I experienced.  From the moment he died I never felt he was gone.  It's hard to explain but I felt him with me as if I could reach out and touch him.

At night I would feel him sit on my bed.  I didn't recognize what it was at first...thinking the dog had jumped on the bed only to turn on the light and see nothing there.  Then I recalled how my dad would always sit on my bed when I was a little girl and listen to my prayers.  His weight would always cause me to roll toward him resulting in a burst of giggles.  For almost two years this became a routine experience.  I'd turn off the bedside lamp after going to bed and almost immediately feel the bed sink as if someone heavier had sat on the edge.  It was the most comforting feeling.... one I didn't share with anyone for almost two years.  Then one evening out of no where my mother told me "You know your daddy sits on my bed at night."  I was just shocked.  Then I shared my experience with her and we both just knew it was true.

Over time he has stopped coming.  The last time it happened was the night after my mother died.  I just knew that he was telling me they were together.

Well, last Sunday in our Sunday school class we were discussing the stages of grief.  The ones everyone are familiar with such as denial, anger, acceptance, etc.  Then we were asked to share experiences of loss.  A woman in our class spoke about losing her daughter when she was in her late twenties.  She said that every day while her daughter was sick they would lay together and nap in the afternoon.  The woman described how after her daughter died she would go to her room and lay down on the bed as she had done before her death.  She described how she would feel the weight of her daughter behind her as the bed sank just a little and feel her body curl up behind her.  She said she would sleep so peacefully feeling her daughter was still with her and how it eased her grief.

Her story brought back my own experience and how my dad's continued presence comforted me through those days.


Darcy Winters said...


It's only been a little over a year since my Dad passed. He too has made his presence known and it brings comfort to me as well. I am glad you shared this!

Olga said...

I know how real this is.