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When I See My Father’s Eyes in the Mirror After He Passed Away

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If I stare at myself long enough in the mirror, I can see my father’s eyes. In the four months my Dad has passed, I find myself doing this quite a bit. It’s almost become a ritual.

Through my father’s eyes, I can see happiness and hope. I can remember the good times and the times when he was healthy and we laughed. The times when I danced on the top of his feet to doo-wop music in the living room. The times when he was enjoying his favorite meal and was cancer-free. Through my father’s eyes, I can see my biggest fan cheering me from the sidelines and always encouraging me to better myself. I share my father’s DNA and much of his personality.  

I want to be happy again, but grieving is so complicated. My grief has morphed me into a real-life Dr. Jekyll and Hyde. My heart hurts and my shoulders ache from the pressures of grieving. The agonizing pain of my grief has ripped a hole in my heart and left a massive void.

Some people have told me, “You’re still upset?” I lost my father, the man who raised me and my best friend. He was a significant part of my life. 

Death and grief are taboo despite the fact that we all die. A simple act of acknowledging someone’s loss provides incredible comfort to the griever. If you don’t acknowledge our pain, it can feel like you’re slamming the door in our face or putting us on mute. You’re sending us a message that our loss is insignificant to you.

It’s been four months since my father has been given his angel wings. How can four months seem so endless yet go by so quickly? I still feel like I’m waiting, waiting for him to come home from the hospital. Waiting for him to answer the phone and announce, “It’s my Lisa Mia!” 

Eventually, I’ll realize he’s not coming home from the hospital, and he won’t be answering the phone anymore. I hope I’m strong enough to handle that moment. Right now, I’m OK with living in denial because the pain is unbearable. Countless individuals have shown my family the power of true, unconditional love. Friends near and far have moved heaven and earth for one purpose: to help memorialize their great friend and provide comfort and support to his family. I am forever indebted to these folks. There are not enough thank-yous for the love you continue to show my family.

Grief rips you apart. Grief changes you. It’s difficult to imagine I will never see my father’s face or hear his voice again.

Even in death, my father is showing me he’s by my side. I see my father in my dreams. A few nights ago, I was hugging him so tight, knowing when I let go he would vanish. He was glowing, he was smiling again, he was healthy again. I felt a grandiose sensation of peace and love. I didn’t want to let go. He smiled and told me to “Be happy.” I believe that was a visitation dream. I struggle to find the words to describe the feeling of love and comfort that dream gave me. 

I am never alone. My father is always with me, and I’m beyond grateful. But I’m selfish — I want my father here like it used to be. I wanted a miracle. I wanted my father healthy again. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I miss my father’s guidance and wisdom. I miss my father’s friendship. I miss the beautiful rapport I had with my father, and his ability to be my father yet speak to me like I was his equal. I miss my father! I return to the mirror and search for my father’s eyes.

Through my father’s eyes, I can see my journey, my future. It’s blurry, but he is urging me to continue and to find happiness as I memorialize him. I don’t want to lose sight of my journey, so with a heavy heart I will carry on. Through my father’s eyes, I can see a reflection of who I am meant to be.

Follow this journey on Love Is Infinite.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: July 7, 2016
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