It’s Just a Pause

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I should be writing a eulogy right now. Dad’s memorial service is in a few days. I’ve asked him lots of questions over the years about his life and I loved to hear about it. But I wish I’d written more down. So I’d know the facts for sure and not have fuzzy dates jiggling around in my brain.

I want to call Dad and ask him, “What year did you retire again?” I think it’s 1999. But it might have been 1998. I’m not positive and I feel like I should know this. And I feel like I should be able to pick up the phone and call him. And I can hear his voice confidently saying, “I retired in….”

But I can’t hear the answer. And I realize I can never call Dad on the phone again.

And I can’t tell him that we visited Aunt Harriet on Monday and she really likes the CD player he had me send her when she lost her eyesight. And she’s listening to books all the time and it really helps her.

And I can’t tell him how I cried at the funeral home, when I saw the application he’d filled out years ago to prepay for his cremation. His handwriting was so neat then because he could still see. And he’d already filled out his information and checked his decisions and I felt like he was there taking care of me. He was still protecting me. He was still providing for me. He was still being my daddy.

I can’t call and tell him how I’ve been working on the menu for the memorial reception. Or that I wrote his obituary. He was always interested in what I was busy doing and liked hearing updates.

I can’t tell him how Annie went out and bought newspapers and donuts this morning. I can’t tell him how I read his obituary and then cut it out carefully and put it in the back of the Bible he and Mom gave me a few years ago, right next to Mom’s obituary.

I can’t even tell him how his watch reminds me of him every hour. Because he was blind, he wore a talking watch. He was wearing it still the hour he was dying. It was pulled up higher on his forearm because he’d lost so much weight during his illness. We cleaned out his long term care room after he passed and I have a couple baskets of his things in my office now.

And every hour, when I’m in this room, I hear Dad’s watch announce the time. It doesn’t make me think of him, because my thoughts are already filled with him. But in a way it brings him even closer and he seems to talk to me through it.

Because Daddy was a driver and a doer and liked to get things accomplished. His talking watch is a gentle nudge, like he was. Get it done now. Have you done it yet? When are you going to?

I will, Daddy. I’ll get it done. I’ll write your eulogy. But I wish I could call you and talk to you about it. I’ll plan your memorial service. I’ll figure out the reception. I think it will be good, Daddy. I think you’d like it. But I wish I could talk to you about it.

I can’t call you on the phone anymore. But I know we will have an eternity of conversations. Because you trusted Jesus, and I do too.

So death is not the end of our conversation.

It’s just a pause.

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11 comments

  1. I feel and understand your pain and peace. I too just lost Mama on April 9th; it was just me, her and Jesus in the ER room. As I was holding her hand, told her I loved her and that I was placing her hand in Jesus’. It was sweet but the most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever done as this was an unexpected event, but one thing I know is that God has His timing and that He would fill me with His grace to walk this “life changing” moment.

    How you spoke about your Daddy is exactly how my Mama was with me. (Even typing the words “was with me”, cuts me to my core).

    Thank you for sharing your journey and your heart. I pray that the Lord will bring to your memory accurate dates and details of your Daddy’s life and you can complete your task.

    It is well with my soul,

    Sugar 🙏🏻

  2. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Caring for a loved one, a parent, is a privilege and honor, AND, it isn’t easy. God bless you..

  3. I think my time without my Daddy is closer than I want to acknowledge and this post is exactly what i thought it would be like once he cant be reached by phone or in person. Your father sounds so much like mine. I treasure every conversation with him. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  4. Such beautiful words. I can feel the love you had & have for your parents. What a wonderful special daughter you are. I took care of my mother the last five years of her life. I am so thankful for those special years I had with her. As you wrote…It was a privilege to do so. I have so many questions also for mom…I wish mom could be Alexa in the room….she would be able to answer me from heaven. Take care and thank you for opening my heart.

  5. I love this: “So death is not the end of our conversation. It’s just a pause.” May God’s peace and loving arms surround you.

  6. I’ve long been a reader of your gentle words and your loving care of both your parents and have followed you through their losses. I was overwhelmed when I came across your comment about how your Daddy was still taking care of you, I have the same feelings. I lost my Daddy 9 months ago. He was 88 and in ill health. I like you still want to pick up the phone and talk with him. I do talk with him everyday but it’s one sided and it’s not the same. I fully agree it’s only a pause, but it’s hard for me to think I could have a few decades in front of me is old age takes me and not some accident or illness. But, I try to remind myself not to take it all at once. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I can tell you from my heart even though we don’t know one another how deeply sorry I am for your loss.

  7. “Death is not the end of our conversation, it’s just a pause” I love that!!! I was a “Daddy’s Girl” I too wish I could ask my Daddy questions that I have and he has been gone 7 years, but it seems like yesterday. My prayers are with you!!!

  8. I am sorry at the passing of your father and mother. I’ve been reading your blog as it was brought to my attention recently, and it is wonderful and uplifting even under these most difficult diagnoses and aging of parents. My mother has AD and my father is her primary caregiver (both in their 80s) and I live many states away. You have given me ideas of what I can do for them. Thank you.

  9. Oh, how your posts touch my heart. I am coming up on the first anniversary of losing my beloved Dad (May 11). I have noticed an extra heaviness in my heart during these days…reviewing the hard days, the pain of watching him slip away so quickly. I am guessing this period of time on the calendar will always bring memories of that time of such deep loss. How I miss his voice and hugs, our many talks. My dear mother is in late stages of Alzheimer’s, and hasn’t been able to grasp his death. She asks for him frequently, and I struggle to know the words to say. Prayers for you as you grieve this painful loss. Clinging to the promise of Heaven and reunification, as we both have been saved by grace, and our Savior’s atonement.

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