Words of Hope: Dust to Dust

I am surprised by my lethargy around the death of my Dad. It really has taken the wind out of me. I am a busy and active person, so this has surprised me- the weightiness and gravitas of death. I feel it physically in my bones and my body. It rushes on me at times, this heaviness like when someone said to me on the phone, this is your first birthday without your father, or when I open a drawer to see an image of my Dad holding one of my children. It is a bit like swallowing a stone. But it is not without grounding and power—this deep grief. I feel a sense of being pulled underwater to a new reality, a baptism into grief and loss, and a new resurrection into living beyond this moment. I am almost sorry for my former self because I comprehend how I was often living with a carefree naivete. Each day a diamond I missed rushing to the next day and the next. If I could counsel my younger self, I would bring more of the gravitas of the ephemeral quality of life to my daily mind. I would make myself face the shadow of suffering and loss more directly instead of feeling I could ward it off through distraction, busyness, or denial. I would live more like the saints and poets, as Thorton Wilder recommends in his powerful play “Our Town.” Perhaps it is only through this first true significant death and loss of my Dad that I can lean more fully into resurrection.

For He knows how we were formed; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field ; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. – Psalm 103:14-18