My father was my best friend. We ran marathons together. We told each other stupid and sometimes off-color jokes and went on the same crazy fad diets together. Although he drew the line at some of the music I liked deeming it too risque, we did share a love for The Beach Boys, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, and anything by Bach or Mozart.
He came to every one of my orchestra concerts, ran many 10K and marathon races with me, and years later I taught him how to swim so that he could compete in a pool swim-bike-run triathlon.
I hope I honored him enough when “Lydia” in the book Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations wrote about her dad and apologized for the way she treated him as his dementia eventually took his life. She was impatient with him and watching him go from best friend status to a shell of his former self was more than she could bear. Simply put she was grieving while he was still alive as well as when he passed.
But what if you never met your father?
In the wonderful book Finding My Father – Beyond Tragedy, Through Trauma, and Into Freedom Marian tells the true story of the death of her father by a plane bombing.
She never knew her father as Marian was still in utero when her mother received the news that she was now a widow.
Marian could not understand or eventually bear her grief for a man she never got to run marathons with or listen to Beach Boys songs with. Is that the same?
Yes! Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. It is profound in every way, no matter the size of the pain. It is never to be brushed off or placated with statements like “time heals all wounds” or “God only gives you what you can handle.”
If you are dealing with a recent loss, a demise from long ago, or an inevitable death of a terminal friend or relative then you are already grieving and walking the path so many of us have walked. Allow it. Wallow in it. Feel it. Do not push it into that deep place in your soul where it will only rear its ugly head later.
Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Yes he does, but you still need to process your loss. It is often an ongoing process.
One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:28 “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
You see, Marian and I both grieved losses that eventually brought us not only closure but purpose. Those deaths shaped our lives and the way we write and coach. Those deaths taught us lessons we perhaps would have never sought to learn otherwise.
What will you do with the losses in your life? Will you allow it to roll through you and seek out a good coach, or will you steamroll over it and carry on? Please, seek us out so that we may be of service and purpose in your life.
You are already on my website but here is Marian’s if you feel you would resonate with her programs too.
Blessings and peace to you.