(1/13/2019): The memories came flooding back to me today…holding my father’s hand, still warm with a gentle pulse, as I lay my head down at his side on the hospital bed inside the living room. He was finally sleeping after the on-and-off pain he endured due to the melanoma that spread blisters up his legs and the immense pain in his legs due to some ailment doctors could never pinpoint.
My father and I had been through so much in those last years of his life—trying to stitch together the pain of earlier years into peace and love. And here he was, in early February, this month two years ago, fighting for his life that was preparing to go. He knew. I knew it. Or at least his spirit knew it was time, for months earlier, when he lay in the hospital room, the day the doctors diagnosed him with melanoma, he came to me in my dream, and let me know it was time to go.
Today, I relived those last days, last minutes, as if yesterday. He lay in the bed, me listening to every breath, knowing each could be the last. I listened with my heart, the way we listen when we come from that unconditional love that knows how to be present and treasure this present that is still with us for a brief time.
That night, after laying my head next to my father in that eternal stillness, I went to bed. In the quiet of the night, and throughout my sleep, I could feel my father next to me. Actually, I felt as if I had become him, lying there, between the bars of the hospital bed, fragile, clinging to life. There was no separation. And the next morning, when I woke up, I ran to my father’s bed, making sure he was still there.
My father lasted a few more days, long enough to live his 79th birthday on February 20 and to see my cousin, Rogelio, who visited him from Argentina and whom he had awaited for eagerly before departing this world. But that memory remains with me so strong today—of laying my head next to his, and feeling his journey so deeply as if it were mine. And then finally being there with him until the very last breath.
I didn’t cry that day he left. I couldn’t. A part of me had left as well, so I didn’t feel him gone the way we do when we finally let go and step back into our ordinary lives. There was nothing ordinary about being with someone so dear to me until the very end. There was a tenderness and an appreciation of life that was so profound that I didn’t want to ever let that go.
Yesterday my boyfriend, his sister, and I made a dinner to honor their mother who left this world this past May. We placed two bouquets of white flowers on the table with a place for her to eat as well. She was a beautiful woman, one I felt so honored to have known during the months before her passing. As I felt those last days with my father, laying there next to him toward the very end, I recalled how my boyfriend’s sister lay next to her mother to keep her company in the end.
When we feel the ones we love so close that we can hear their every breath, knowing it could be the last, how do we ever forget that? How do we ever grieve the preciousness of another who has now left for another world?
Today, I feel the grief that lives inside all that love and loss. And I pray for those who have lost someone so dear, as my boyfriend and his sister did more recently, to be able to take that great love and live again as one more angel flies in the sky above us. May we all cry that grief of beauty that has left us, and, in return, bring a bit more heart into this world.
My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of returning home to the earth inside and all around us. It’s now available in Spanish as Niña Duende: Un Viaje del Espiritu, that’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore or directly from me (for those outside of the U.S.) as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video
7 thoughts on “Remembering: Goodbye with Love (a break from my regular blog)”
BEAUTIFUL Michi. I miss him so much but I am also happy that he is finally in peace.
El lun., 4 feb. 2019 a las 20:39, Michelle Adam () escribió:
> Michelle Adam posted: “(1/13/2019): The memories came flooding back to me > today…holding my father’s hand, still warm with a gentle pulse, as I lay my > head down at his side on the hospital bed inside the living room. He was > finally sleeping after the on-and-off pain he endured d” >
Ingrid, I feel the same way. Thank you for being a part of the last months of my father’s life (and your brother). He’s in peace.
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Beautifully written and expressed Michelle. Grief is still fresh in my heart as well, having lost my eldest brother Hans shortly before Christmas. I am so very grateful to have to taken the time to visit him in Texas in November and cook one of his favorite means for him. But the farewell was gut-wrenching. He clasped my hand and kept pulling me back to hug him one more time, tears in his eyes and a lump in my throat. Two weeks later, he was gone. This feeling remains, and perhaps always will; the bittersweet beauty of a final farewell.
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Thank you for sharing, Paul. I’m sorry about your loss, but glad you were able to get to know your eldest brother before he left. I know you didn’t know him well years ago, so what a gift to have that before it’s too late.
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I had gotten to know him a bit better in recent years, after he had been forced to retire from his life sailing the South Pacific and settle into a little house in Arizona. But yes, the final visit was a wonderful gift, and a final opportunity to give as well. In two years, two brothers, an uncle, a granddaughter, and a father-in-law — all dearly loved, now gone. Isn’t it funny how love is sometimes felt at its keenest when it can only be shared in memory?
I do not think we ever let go of loved ones we share so much, so closely with that we experience every breath as them. Instead, they integrate within our souls, our essence for all time to come; while we exercise letting go of what was in our physical beings. We let them go into a more refined place within ourselves.
Reblogged this on Shamanic Wise Woman and commented:
I read your blog post here about your father. The goodbye is difficult, it took years before I could forgive and feel healed after the loss. Today though, it is his journey of spirit that was tormented causing him pain and and remorse. I can forgive, his life was filled by a sadness, losses, and a need for healing. It is unfortunate his tortured life brought suffering to his family. May they find peace now. Aho~