woman-looking-at-family-scrapbook

Closure

Last year my dear, elderly friend Ed died.

Due to a bunch of misunderstandings and folks who were unable to cope with what was actually happening (the dying process) I was unable to be there or participate in any rituals after his death.

Sometimes life has a way of circling things around, though. In our quest to continue to purge and keep paper to a minimum, I cleaned out a couple of my memory boxes. While I was sorting, I had a few moments that were painful but beautiful with the men in my life. The first was a birthday card from Ed.

It wasn’t my imagination. He called me his best friend. He cared for me like I cared for him. He didn’t have control over his family at the end. I may not have been able to attend his funeral, but I spent some time with his card and felt connected and like I was able to say goodbye more properly. What a gift!

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When I wrote the eulogy for my dad, I mentioned the lifelong saga of Dad not feeling comfortable saying, “I love you.” As the holidays keep unfolding, I have felt very badly more than once or twice that last year Dad was in the hospital on Thanksgiving, and then again until Christmas Eve. I can’t tell you how much I hate that his last holidays were spent like that.

I continue to miss Dad like crazy.

My second gift was from Dad. I had totally forgotten about this, but he always gave each of us money for Christmas. Last year he wasn’t feeling too hot, so I was in charge of getting the cards and sealing them for him. When we got to mine, I asked him to write, “I love you” on it. We chuckled a lot over it, but he did it. I think I told him not to sign that on my sister’s card so I could harass her about it.

She got the verbal words from him the week that he died. I wasn’t jealous. I’m glad she heard it. But when I found this card, I felt like he was yelling it from the treetops to me. It was a beautiful moment of closure for me.

I continue to miss Dad like crazy. You know how holidays magnify grief. It stinks. But I already got the best Christmas presents ever, especially from my daddy…

Darcy Thiel, MA is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York state. To learn more about her work, click here.

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