How does your world change when your father has passed on, and is no longer with you?
I cannot speak for all of you, for what your story is, or what you are feeling. All I can do is share what my personal reality is…with the knowledge that as I continue to walk my journey, that reality may change. As it has changed in the last fourteen years…since my father, Bill Makosky, passed away. To read my tribute to my dad, written a year after his death, click here.
When my father died, I went numb, and then into auto pilot. So many things to do, so many people to interact with, and so many reasons to stay strong for my mother and family. Although my heart knew the grief, anger, sadness, and confusion that lurked beneath the surface, I instinctively protected the depth of those feelings…and chose to reveal only a facade to the world around me.
My mother was alone after his death, and needed to be with loved ones. A year after my dad died, my husband and I invited her to come live with us…which meant she had to make that very hard decision to leave all she knew, and the home that she and dad had lived in for most of their married life together. She moved from the small town of Youngstown, OH, to Manassas, VA…which is essentially the crazy Washington D.C. area. And my sisters and I, all did what we needed to do to help her purge most of what she owned, sell her home, (the home we all grew up in) and then move in with us.
Mom ended up living with us until her death, in 2015. During that time, I kind of took her lead, regarding her grieving the loss of my dad. In the beginning, she talked about him a lot, and was kind of living in her own reality regarding the man he was. It was obvious to me that they have always loved each other, through any storm that hit them or our family. However, when she talked about him, refusing to aknowledge his weaknesses, or the way some of his words and actions affected my sisters and me, it touched a place inside of me that I could no longer ignore.
Carefully, I would remind her that I grew up in our house, and I knew the truth. As the years went by, she was more able to accept the goodness of my dad, and also the darkness that he harbored. We were able to talk about it at times, and although we made that breakthrough, I focused mostly on my relationship with her, and kind of put the death of my father on the back burner.
That changed when my mom passed away, for then I was orphaned. The foundation of our family, and the roots that connected us no longer existed. No reasons left for me to gloss over the fact that my father is dead.
He is gone.
And I miss him very much!
How did my world change when my father passed on? A few things come to mind…
No more “hi dads,” and “hi Buns” (he called me Bun) and seeing his face light up when he saw me and his grandsons.
No more seeing him at our door, carrying his paper, and anything else he decided to bring over…like coffee cake or donuts.
No more dad to call when my life was in turmoil…like when my marriage was young and stormy. He would listen to my cries of anguish, then comfort and support me…while at the same time, never once uttering a negative thing about Joe…my husband and his son in law.
No more dad to call when I was excited about something in our life, or when there were troubles or sadness.
No more father’s day cards or gifts to choose…or birthdays or holidays to celebrate together.
No more dinners together, and waiting for his reaction to the dishes I prepared.
No more arguments with him, and no more chances to view him from the eyes of one flawed adult to another…no more chances to pray for him, and for the healing of his hurting soul.
The world is still turning…hours, days, months, and years spin by. And although it is a beautiful world, created and gifted to us to enjoy and treasure, I have finally come to the place where I feel the emptiness of being fatherless in this world.
It is a void that cannot be totally filled by memories.
However, my heart is miraculously filled with an intense love that includes the hearts of my mom and dad. That love pierces through the pain and grief of losing our loved ones, It is a love and warmth that could only come from the source of love itself...Our Heavenly Father.
May God bless you on Father’s Day, and each and every day that you are blessed to live and love, in this beautiful world!
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16