My dad passed away fairly suddenly on Valentine’s Day. I wrote these words a few days after, in a state of shock, haze, and grief. May this be a reminder of the fragility of life and of a hope that stands even when life is hard.
In the rapid falling of dominos in motion, A whirlwind came and dropped me in the ocean. Days drenched in hope quickly became days of despair, With no sight of familiar shores anywhere.
His mortal shell could take no more of the domino toll, For it was weary from all that cancer gave and stole. Once so strong he quickly grew so weak, And his spirit knew that the situation was bleak.
I’ll never forget those boney limbs and yellow skin, Screaming of the multitude of cancer’s assaults within. Nor will I forget eyes half-open yet seemingly unaware, And arms that kept moving until our embrace found them there.
Twenty-seven years were not enough, no number ever would be, But I didn’t expect to find myself so soon in this uncharted sea. Normal will never return because he is not here, Only days in and that truth is crystal clear.
Today the ocean feels so deep and vast, Though I may see beauty too once time has passed. For I know that the waters will someday turn tranquil, When I look back on memories for which I am thankful.
Planes, trains, and grins that made me smile too, And a special sense of humor that always shone through. The smell of hazelnut coffee reminding me of my childhood, And all the little things he did that made that time good.
Yet even in time, I know the waves will still sometimes churn, For mourning has no timeline and tends to repeat and return. Now and then, I will be tossed to and fro like I am today, For that is grief’s cruel and callous way.
Yet whether now or then, I do not dwell in stormy seas alone, For many others have been tossed into similar oceans of their own. And even though the sea seems too deep to chart, There is One who knows its every single part.
When the waves roar and I find myself flailing about, He walks on water, reaching His hand out. Though the Great High Priest and Lord of lords, He doesn’t hide from the hurting, but instead moves towards.
I need not hide my tears or messy feelings away, For they do not have the power to make Love sway. Jesus Himself knows what it means to weep, And He is present now as I swim in emotions deep.
He gives me relief in ways I would not have asked for, Yet still it comes, in ways I cannot ignore. He loves us both more than I can understand, And in that hope, I now choose to stand.
He beacons me to come to Him in prayer, But so often I am lackadaisical. Sometimes I’m tired and sometimes I just don’t feel Him near, Sometimes I’m too paralyzed by my pride and my fear.
And what words can I bring and say to the Word? Before I’ve spoken, He has already heard. And He knows the true motivations of every thought, Even the words that come from a place of spiritual rot.
Sometimes it seems I have too many, And other times, I don’t have any. Sometimes I mean them with all my being, And other times they are just words my lips are speaking.
There are some words I can barely articulate, They feel like a burden of crushing weight. Others feel like I’m just saying what is expected, Even though I feel quite disconnected.
But thank God almighty that He understands what He hears, Even when I have nothing but uncontrollable tears. He hears the words that my lips do carry, As well as the ones I seek to hide and bury.
And if I’m honest, that gratitude is often combined with a bit of dread, For He knows all I’ve said and all that I’ve left unsaid. Yet somehow though He fully knows me, He still loves me. And beacons me each day to taste and see.
He is patient and kind with me and my attempts at prayer, My brokenness is never too much for Him to bear. He is teaching me what it means to pray without ceasing, As long as this heart in my chest keeps beating.
I do not know what to pray for as I ought to, But the Spirit intercedes and follows through. I am broken and I am weak, But by the Spirit, still I shall speak.