As an introvert, I do not often mix work and my personal life. At work, I am “on”. I enjoy the people I work with and give as much of myself as I can. At home, I put up a protective barrier and little gets through, maybe aside from Social Media. But then there are certain people that also give of their energy instead of taking.
I have a dear friend that has such a wonderful and eloquent way with words. She is such a positive light, even in her own hurt. I sometimes joke when I introduce her to people, that she could tell you about a dog taking a poop in a way that would make you WANT to pick up that poop. She finds, identifies, and celebrates the good in people and situations. She is truly amazing in the way she breathes life into people.
So it absolutely broke my heart when I learned that this awesome woman lost her father. I am really horrible at condolences and often just give space to the grieving. But as we both are very articulate of our feelings, I simply asked if I could share her gift of word with the world.
“Nearly 15 years passed after his first stroke, but his tenacity never wavered. That ogre called stroke suppressed his body, but not his will. Today, he unexpectedly surrendered to the daily plight endured, cast hemiparesis aside, and walked into heaven’s gates unbroken. While dense fog permeates our midst, we have been lavished with an outpouring of love.”
She wrote an email upon her return from the service:
“I return to work today still feeling afflicted and emotionally bankrupt, but at the same time, attempting to find gratitude for the small lights of love in my midst. Those came by way of a multitude of messages and expressions of kindness.
I kindly accept warm embraces and must add, those have sustained me in the past week. While I will readily accept all hugs, I do ask that all refrain from questions. I know that any conversation about my dad will erupt in a flood of tears.
My dad’s services honored his life and highlighted his will to serve. I hope to continue carrying the torch he so readily upheld.
I wrote the following piece, printed 50 copies, and had all our family read along during a dove release ceremony. Thought I’d share below:
Your soul is released to a place on high;
Where trumpets sound in the celestial sky.
Those left behind your hand wish to hold;
We trust in God and will rely on one another, further cementing our bond as if cloaked in gold.
We promise to band together, to forge and cinch our allegiance and unity;
To honor your life and remember you for all eternity. ”
She told me that a conversation with her niece sparked her inspiration for this poem. She felt the need to pull her family together. Time had waned the urgency of family and life took priority of making memories. We talked about coming of age where we leave much behind to work hard and make it on our own, that sometimes we no longer make time for those outside of immediate day to day life. My friend did not want her family to feel regret, or dwell in a place of division or seclusion. But she wanted to honor her father in the way that memorialized who he was.
She went on to tell me that her father had the gift of word. That he had a way of speaking life, hope, and happiness into anyone. Something she wanted to carry in his legacy.
“You left my world unexpectedly;
without notice or advisory, you were taken from me.
While I cannot comprehend why you are no longer here,
I try to hold on to reason and rationalize my fears.
Many of us want to rewind the clock, to hug you one more time,
and feel your embrace, hear you try to make rhymes.
Sometimes your words were poetic to me.
You were gifted and talented in prose, with a God-given ability to speak.
When inspiration knocked, a flood would emit
and the end resulted in persuasive words that yielded significance.
I will honor your legacy by appealing to others with your gift of word,
And continue your tradition of inspiring others with purpose to serve.
Your words infused conviction for all humanity.
You manifested God’s love, showcasing a life of integrity.
Thank you for the gifts bestowed along the way,
For establishing a bedrock of truth, for that and more we honor your life today.”
My heart is so full of this woman. Her words are always so heavy with love, encouragement and praise. It was no wonder then when she described her father’s gift of word, where she had gotten it from. She spoke of him in a way that made me wish I had known him. There is no doubt that everyone that had that privilege was a much better person because of it.
Dear My Sweet Friend,
I cannot fathom the emptiness left by the physical absence of your father. The hunger and thirst to hear his voice, and receive his words that would pick you back up and set you on track. You have worked so diligently to ensure that your family is able to feel warmth and love in a time when otherwise would feel cold and regretful. I also can see that this is the constructive way that you have chosen to heal. You have strength beyond measure and his light and gifts shine through you every single day. You honored him even while he lived and you continue to do so. You are allowed to be emotionally taxed. You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to set those boundaries for yourself. But know that you are supported by people that admire and love you. Thank you for letting me share you, your father, and your story with the world.