In Honor of My Father

My Dad passed away a few days ago. My stomach does a bit of a churn when I write it. With only a few days past receiving the news, I feel all sorts of feelings and I can imagine those will ebb and flow with bursts of tears for some time to come. I have so much to say, but then want to say nothing at all. One thing is certain, I want so very badly to give him another hug or say goodbye. That’s the most painful part for me right now and it just makes me feel so very sad and the tears feel like they’ll never stop once they start. The finality of death is alarming once it’s here. It’s feels a little panicky. Of course, I just wish I had more time.

I know my Dad loved me so much. Because of childhood pain and trauma that I couldn’t even begin to understand, he hurt. Because of genetic susceptibility to anxiety and depression, my Dad hurt. Because of unfortunate major health problems and chronic pain, my poor Dad hurt. With all of these factors combined, along with the challenges of life in general, it’s been so very difficult for him. Because of his natural pride and feelings of defeat, he didn’t know how to accept help or engagement from the people that loved him the most. It’s been terribly painful and frustrating to see him withdrawal over the years from the potential of a fulfilling life. His friends have missed him so much. I have felt utterly heartbroken over the joy he’s missed through his grandchildren. He was absolutely crazy about them, but pain can create an unintentional mile-high wall. He expressed his emotions, thoughts and memories through email over the last few years, so it is without hesitation that I know his love for us.

To know my real, true, deep-down Dad/Tim/Timmy/Vito/TR/Grampy was to positively love him. My Dad was witty, incredibly giving and compassionate. My brother and I would agree what we may miss the most is this small part of him that would peek out at rare times over the years and make us have deep giggles. His humor was so clever. I miss it so much. He modeled hard work and because of that hard work, my husband and I were able to take over the business that he and my mom created decades ago. He was immensely proud of this and I’m so thankful for it. Just yesterday I had the honor of meeting with the women in our office and sharing with them that responsibility and honor of creating a strong future for our business with honor and character. I know it would make him very proud.

My brother and I were able to make a visit to see our Dad just a month before he passed away. Of course, we are incredibly thankful for that opportunity. We could tell that his physical health was in bad shape and declining, but not expecting his death would come so soon. It nourished his spirit to have us there and oh, how I wish we could go back and do it again and stay longer. The things I would say or not say, the last hug I would give him; to have the chance to hold on tighter or longer. As I heard myself praying aloud just a few hours after learning he passed, I asked God to hold him so tight, to let him know with everything inside that he is so loved and safe. To think that he is with his brother and mother again brings me bits of joy. I love you so much, Dad.

Dear reader, you may be wondering why I mentioned his pain rather than just honor his memory in solely a positive light. My brother and I both feel very strongly that life struggles, whether that be mental health, addiction, trauma, etc., not be masked or ignored, but rather have light shine on them so they are not as scary, intimidating, or embarrassing. Life is hard. Circumstances can feel overwhelming. No one should ever feel alone and it is never too late to accept a helping hand. There is always, always hope. To you I say: Do speak the words you want to say. Do seek forgiveness, if needed. Hold on to the hugs just a bit longer. Accept the helping hand. Look for the silver beneath the tarnish. You are loved.

8 thoughts on “In Honor of My Father

  1. Jeanne February 28, 2021 / 6:16 pm

    Hi Emily, I just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear of your father‘s death. I so appreciated hearing your realistic expression of pain, hurt and disappointment. Death is awful and ugly and not the way “it was meant to be”.Yes even for the Christian!We have hope beyond death but we were not made in the beginning to die.

    My Dad died three years ago and it is interesting to observe the process of grieving Ive gone through.I was just talking to my brother the other day about difficult memories of my Dad.Ways he could have been a better parent .. but I am thankful to say that God has also left me with so many wonderful memories.Even in this process of grieving I found God to” be there for me” in unexpected ways.

    I volunteered with hospice for a few years and while I was working at the hospice house, I found a book called ‘Tear Soup’ that I felt is so unusually and beautifully written, dealing with death and the loss of a loved one.I know you are a book lover so thought u might be interested.

    I’ll be praying that you will have a sense of Gods presence in some very clear ways as you process the loss of your Dad. Much love Jeanne

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • emilyb123 March 1, 2021 / 1:12 pm

      I just loved reading this from you and I appreciate it very much. It’s a true comfort to have fellow believers like you walking through this life with the same shared hope.

      Like

  2. Anonymous February 28, 2021 / 8:39 pm

    Emily, so sorry to hear the news of your dad passing. Your memories of him were beautifully written and your truth and honesty of his struggles is a tribute to him for raising such a caring daughter. Tim,RIP
    Robbin And Don Sayre

    Liked by 1 person

    • emilyb123 March 1, 2021 / 1:13 pm

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it.

      Like

  3. Jim and Linda Terry February 28, 2021 / 9:03 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Tim We truly enjoyed are friendship with Tim sending prayers and comfort to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emilyb123 March 1, 2021 / 1:14 pm

      Thank you so much! He was a good man and I’m honored to be his daughter.

      Like

  4. Kim March 2, 2021 / 3:49 am

    Emily
    We are so sad to hear of Tim’s passing. I am so glad you have had the times you spent with him in the past few yrs even if not what you hoped for.
    A wise women in my church told me after my mother died
    from same circumstances at 66 that grief is like the ocean . Most days it is lapping at your toes until the day it surprises you with a wave that knocks you down . Your job is to get back up & move on because your loved ones would want that and know god is right beside you to help you up . Easier said than done but it does get easier.
    Please know we are here for your family to talk , remember or just tell stories . Clay just pulled out a picture of he , Mark & Bobby playing in a gator golf tournament with Tim posing with Albert. These are the times we will remember & cherish .

    Liked by 1 person

    • emilyb123 March 2, 2021 / 11:41 am

      Thank you so much. I just had the wave analogy come to mind yesterday and it felt spot on. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it.

      Like

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