I have started and restarted this blog post many times. It seems so easy to share about life’s successes and celebrations, but death and dying not so much. In the last four months we experienced the sudden illness and loss of my father-in-law. This wonderful man shared his zest for life with all those around him. He was so generous with his time and resources, but most importantly with his love. He passed away on April 4th, taken by an aggressive cancer, and one of the last things he said to me, as we hugged, was “I love you”.
Sometimes death doesn’t make sense, doesn’t seem fair or right. This sentiment was shared over and over by countless people during my father-in-law’s funeral. Teary eyes were filled with “why?”. The mystery of death will forever elude us, until it is our own time…
Journeying with my father-in-law over the last months of his life was a beautiful and difficult experience. He was not afraid of death and found solace in his Catholic faith, continuing to share his love until the end. But this beautiful strong man was very human and he experienced great sadness knowing that he was leaving behind his beautiful wife, children, many grandchildren, siblings and a community of close friends.
The final conversations we held, the tears in his eyes, holding his grandchildren for the last times will be forever etched in my heart. And now that his tears are forever wiped away, mine will flow freely, coming at unexpected times as my heart misses him. To a Loving Man, Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend. I love you.