Life is Grace

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)

My dad’s funeral was 17 years ago today. It’s amazing to think so much time has passed, when I thought I could never live without him. But I discovered that I can, because he is now a part of me and I am never alone, never without him, and I know that he will never be truly lost to me. St. Leonard, a member of the communion of saints. It’s not that I don’t still grieve, and sometimes I miss him so much my heart, literally, aches, but the grief has changed; gradually, the comfort of my memories and my sense of his presence has finally outweighed the pain. Most of the time…

Certain smells, certain moments when I feel unloved, certain aspects of the Christmas rituals, and hundreds of other ordinary details of life, will reopen the wound. But at least now I can let it bleed for a while and go on. At least now I can be open, not only to those painful moments, but also to the many joys of my life.
–Joyce Barrington

6 thoughts on “seventeen years??????

  1. I know exactly what you mean. My dad died five years ago, and I still get a little lump in my throat everytime it snows. Why? Because Mom gave me his snowblower. Whenever it happily fires up, that sound makes me think of Dad. He loved blowing snow (and cutting grass and all kinds of mindless labor). The roar of the motor equals Dad. Then again, I remember him with a smile on my face because the damn thing ALWAYS starts. He's still taking care of me, I figure.


  2. Mary says:

    My mom died somewhat unexpectedly Thanksgiving 2008. Sometimes out of the blue something triggers the feeling of utter loss. My mother-in-law refers to these as trap door moments. I wish I had one more day with her to stroke her face and tell her how much I love her.


  3. LutherLiz says:

    Grief never dies because love never dies. Instead it morphs and shifts and sometimes catches us by surprise. Still, our loved ones are with us and guide through our grief.(Delurked!)


  4. Barbara, recently, the father of my friend Laura (who died in 2000) died, and at his funeral, someone said that he (Laura's dad) once told him, at the funeral of HIS father, this: "It's not easy to live without a Dad, but it is possible." That struck me, and I thought, how comforting for the remaining two siblings, just to know that, no, life will never be the same again, but life can still exist and be vibrant in time. I'm glad you've discovered this as well. Blessings to you on this meaningful anniversary.


  5. darcie says:

    My dad will be gone ten years this coming Valentine's Day – seems impossible.


  6. Marie says:

    Barb,I can so feel your pain, though mine has been 2 years since my beloved mom passed. I think your thoughts and sentiments on the subject are superb, and it comforts me to know that there is someone else out there who has been through this and that I can communicate. I appreciate your honesty: not dumbing the pain down by saying things like "it will get better" or "time will ease your pain". My life without my mom will never be the same, but I am coming to embrace what I do have wholeheartedly and accepting the hurt; loving the time and memories that we had together. Thank you for sharing – you've helped me immensly.MariePS – I sure missed meeting you at Emilie's gathering, and I do hope to catch up with you soon in person. I will be in the cities within the next couple of months, so maybe we could arrange someing. Take care, Marie (


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