|Allan on the far left, my Dad in the white shirt. Taken at a retirement party Allan and his wife hosted for my Dad.|
Tuesday afternoon I received the call from Lori that her Father Allan had died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday night. He took a breath, slumped over while seat belted in their vehicle and he was gone. My heart sank. My mind was racing, he's too young, this can't be, there was no warning, no time to prepare! My Dad would have had such a horrible time with this news, just as Allan did with the news of my Dad's death. I told Lori how sorry I was, that if they need any help with anything to let me know. I told her, I knew what she was feeling, to which she replied a sorrowful and sure, " I know". All the while knowing, nothing I was saying to her was going to change a thing. They had entered in to that surreal period that lasted for some time for me after the loss of my Dad.....
How can Myra, Lori and her son Travis know what likely lies ahead. They can't know that the next year will be a blur to them. They will cry tears for months and months. After that they will assume they are starting to return to "normal" only to realize "normal" will never be the same. Holidays will never be the same, in fact, you will have difficulty with any family gathering as they will bring front and center to their thoughts, he's not here, he's really not here......
As they journey through the first year, they will have to experience the pain of every first holiday with out him. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, his birthday, anniversaries and the most difficult for me, Father's Day. They will survive, in fact these first days will become their days of release. They will be the days to release those tears they were sure they'd run out of.
It will seem an eternity that their hearts will feel heavy and hollow....sure that life will never be the same. That would be correct. Life will never be the same, but it will start again, they will find joy in their hearts again. They will, through the years occasionally find themselves saying, " I can't believe he's not here".
Dad's/husbands, likely the strongest of connections other than our children we have. Dad's, bigger than life they are, the center of the family... in my case anyway. I haven't a clue the experience that Myra is feeling, the loss of her best and closest friend, father to her child and of course her husband. I can't imagine how that might feel?
I just want them to know they will get through this. They will forever miss his presence, their hearts will never quite be the same. Yet, for him as well as for themselves, they will continue to live their lives because they will realize....it's what he would have wanted them to do.
Live your life, make it count. You have just been given the greatest heads up ever, life is so short, and can be taken in an instant. Let those you love know you love them now and often! Yes, through this most difficult experience you will become so aware of life......and yes, the loss of it.
It's different for everyone I'm sure, God and His Word got me through. So though its different for each I believe our hearts feel the same pain, and our eyes cry the same tears.. Allan Walker, I'm so glad you were a part of my family and you will be missed. This is what echos from my heart today.......
As an aside; I wrote this blog Saturday evening, planning to post it on Monday. This morning, Sunday, Pastor Chico spoke about the many who have lost loved ones this year and of the year of firsts they will experience. Two things I have to say about that; One, I didn't steal his message :-) and two a reminder that I don't believe in coincidence, the topic was obviously meant to by heard by many :-) So why wait till Monday to post?