INTIMACY THROUGH SORROW
“In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried out to my God; From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” – Ps. 18:7
Growing up, I resented my father for my childhood and stayed as far away from him as I could. When he got sick, my sisters and I took turns taking care of him. In his final days, he and I became closer. We prayed. We talked about God and His presence in our lives. Some days he couldn’t remember my name, but we recited prayers as best as we could. We connected. “Our Father” bridged the gap between us that seemed irreparable.
When he passed away, I fell into depression. I felt like a piece of me died with him. I spent days lying on the couch weeping, sleeping, and reflecting on the life of a man I barely knew. I dragged myself out of the house to help with his funeral arrangements. I dreaded every day leading up to the funeral. My fear was unfounded. Although it was sad, the funeral became a celebration of the love my father shared with the world. My dad’s family and friends flew in from halfway around the world and drove for days to say goodbye. Family and friends rejoiced in worship hymns and retelling how he touched their lives and made it better. I got to really know the man I grew up avoiding.
At the funeral mass, the priest told a story of how generous my father was to him. He saved cookies to give to the priest when he came around for mass. The story gave me closure in the life of my father. Although he was a man who made mistakes, he loved God and gave generously the best he was able. That realization soothed my sorrow and reminded me that in some ways I will always be my father’s daughter.
Heavenly Father, help me learn to lean on you in my moments of sorrow and trust in your love.