Saturday, January 9, 2010

The light has flattened


[a gift from my Dad to help me start my garden]

There are no soft words for this. I can’t make it easier to say or to hear. My Dad has unexpectedly passed away. In the last few days, we have all received and made those awful phone calls, the ones that come at unusual hours. The constellation that is my large, awkward and jumbled family is gathering from distant points on the map. We are trying to pull ourselves together to honour him and find a way to move through our grief with love and grace.

I hesitated about posting anything here about this. Then I decided that in my little corner of the blogosphere I wanted to recognize his passing and honour him. I hope that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable. Please don't feel you have to say anything.

I offered to write his obituary. I didn’t know how to distill his life down to a few column inches. I couldn’t. So I would like to say some of those things here,

Dad, you are the hero-king of our little clan. Your decency, sense of justice, your defense of the vulnerable, your courage in speaking truth to power, and your quiet kindness are among your many shining attributes. Your love of music and art, your ability to quote poetry, your delight in birds, pets, nature and children; your thoughtful analysis of history and current world events; your ability to weave fascinating tales and speak on any subject have always made you a favourite at any gathering. Your unfailing belief in all your children and your support and encouragement has allowed us to become the adults we know you are proud of. Your pleasure in your grandchildren and ability to coax a giggle out of them has earned you a new generation of loyal fans. We all love you so much and feel blessed to have been loved in return by you. We thought we had so much more time to tell you.


When I was a child I received a little New Testament with a dark blue leather cover embossed with gold writing and gold on the page ends. I thought it a very precious gift. It had a line on the inside cover that somehow has risen over the years to whisper to me on some of the darker days,

Be strong and of good courage

I will do my very best.



Addendum January 16th:
Thank you to everybody who commented here. Your kind words and warm wishes were felt and appreciated. We had a service that I believe honoured my father and helped us to come together as a family and express our love for him and for each other.

I am deeply touched that you chose to share your condolences with me during this difficult time. Thank you so much. It really meant a lot.

~Ms. S

20 comments:

sweet bay said...

I am so sorry.

The tribute to your Dad that you wrote here is beautiful.

I will be thinking of you. Your father sounded like a special person and your love for him shines through here.

Clayton said...

Good on you to share this. We all seek for words and ways when these times come to us in life. Comfort comes in warm hands and warm hearts, often nothing said but by presence. As a former young Pastor of ours used to say at the end of his emails "Keep on".

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Dear Ms S, I'm so very sorry to hear of the tragic and sudden passing of your dad. Your words are beautiful and touching, the iris is stunning and I hope it will bring you a little bit of comfort now and in the future. Hugs to you and your little one, my thoughts are with your during this difficult time. ~Rebecca

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

We are glad that you shared. God bless you all.

Kiki said...

Thinking of you and wishing you all the support, comfort and light that you need during this dificult time and challenging journey!Thankyou for sharing the beauty and spirit of your father..eveything you said is beautiful..and I wish you peace and love and wonderful memories to keep your heart comforted! Our loved ones are the greatest treasures in our life..carry those amzing memories strong in yoru heart..they will lead you in strength always!
Take care!
A Friend in the blog-world,
Kiki~

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I am so very sorry. Your Father sounded like such a wonderful and important part of your family. You have written a beautiful tribute to him in this post.

Jen

The Garden Ms. S said...

Thank you all for your very kind words. It is quite moving to realize the generousity of spirit that is out there. We are settled on the planning of the service and I think it will be a lovely one - that is going to help.

Diane Schuller said...

Oh I am so very sorry to hear of your father passing away. I want so much to reach out and hug you. My dear mother died just over 2 years ago and it devastated me to the core. So much left unsaid. You have said it so well about your father. May the pain you are feeling ease in time and be replaced with warm, loving, and tender memories.

Gardenista said...

May your family experience some peace and calm despite your sudden loss. Your tribute was beautiful.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Diane and Gardenista: Thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comments.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know how very difficult this is... we had 3 losses last year. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your wrote a really beautiful tribute. Many hugs!

miss m said...

My deepest sympathies to you, Ms. S. Your touching words have moved me to tears. May you and your family find strength in this difficult time.

God bless xx

The Garden Ms. S said...

EMC: (Jackie) and Miss M: Thank you for your compassion and understanding. I am going for walks on the nature trails every day for at least an hour and that helps. The service is on Friday and I think it will really help us all.

zone3b said...

A great tribute to a special man. My condolences to you and your family.

The Garden Ms. S said...

zone3b: Thank you very much for your kind words. He was, indeed, a special man and we were all so lucky to have shared our lives with him.

Anna said...

Dear MsS - I am so sorry to hear this. Wishing you the strength and courage to get through difficult days. Your tribute to your dad was beautiful as is the iris he graced your garden with. Take care. Will be thinking of you.

OF SPRING AND SUMMER said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I was sitting here reading your moving tribute to your Dad with tears in my eyes.
I lost my Mother last year in August and I also posted a small tribute to her on my blog - but like you I was initially torn but did it in the end.
With lots of love and warm thoughts.
Ingrid

The Garden Ms. S said...

Anna and Ingrid: Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I appreciate them very much.

anartistsgarden said...

Oh Ms. S, I just read your post and am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute is so lovely, what a wonderful man. I'm glad you posted, your words are so moving they will help someone else. My heart is with you as you pass through this difficult time.
Linda

The Garden Ms. S said...

Linda: Thank you so much for your kind words. It really does feel like a long distance hug. Much appreciated.