Words of Hope: Bright Star

My brother and I are planning my Dad’s Celebration of Life. Dad loved short phrases and slogans, so I love to call his memorial day Dad’s COL. Planning has been challenging because when Jay and I call each other to walk through the details, one of us starts to cry, which triggers the other, and we choke through and get a few details done and then need to stop.

 In some parts of my mind, I keep thinking this is temporary: Dad will call again, or he will appear, or the tears will subside, or it won’t be such a difficult road. I wonder it is like those who experience amputation and the phantom feelings a limb is still there, active and alive, only to awake and remember the limb is gone. Because my mind is incredibly fast, I can live several different experiences all in one phone call—the feeling of confusion—Dad is gone, the feeling of sorrow—I miss Dad, the feeling of comfort– he is free from suffering, the feeling of joy—Christ is risen and I will see Dad again, the feeling of regret—I want more time, the feeling of contentment—what a glorious life we had together. 

One of my favorite images I found on the internet this last year has been a thermal map of all the emotions and how our body holds these emotions. You can see the emotional energy of anxiety going down into the body’s center. Is it any wonder research has found a correlation between pancreatic cancer to stress and repressed worry? Love has the brightest white light emanating from the heart. I see this blinding energy coming from the heart, and this is how I imagine the love Dad helped create in our family—a light, bright like a comet or a shooting star. When I feel overwhelmed, I remember Dad’s radiance is missed, but his loving spirit has created a family ablaze with love for God and each other.

“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” – Daniel 12:3