On Saturday, as I stood beside my dad’s lifeless form during his viewing, tears streaming down my face, a profound realization washed over me: was I shedding tears for his departure, or for my own loss in his absence? He was finally at peace, his expression serene like that of a deep, tranquil sleep. It was those left behind, grieving and grappling with the ache of his absence, who bore the burden of suffering.
In the mist of the pain, there was a light of hope—a belief in the enduring strength of my father's spirit, now not merely existing outside of me, but flowing within me. His towering presence, both physically and spiritually, has been a source of comfort and reassurance throughout my life. If there was some challenge happening in my life, my Dad was on the job, willing to take out anyone or anything who hurt those he loved. Losing my dad, who has been a constant presence in my life for 54 years—has propelled me into a new phase of existence, one where strength becomes both a necessity and a choice.
In his final years, my dad battled mental health issues, enduring a silent struggle that brought him untold anguish. Witnessing him finally find peace was a comfort for my own wounded soul that ached for him in his moments of despair. Every child wants to see their parents healthy and happy, living a life of peace, love, and joy and when this is not present, you feel their pain just as they’ve felt your pain being a parent. This moment signaled the completion of his earthly journey, a release from the burdens he bore as our protector.
Yet, even in the midst of sorrow, I've come to understand that suffering is not an inevitable companion to loss. It is a choice—a choice to linger in despair or to step into the light of life, embracing both the beauty and the struggle.
The notion that time heals all wounds is a delusion. Healing is not passive; it is an active decision to transcend suffering, to reclaim joy amidst the ache of loss. We need not be prisoners to our pain; instead, we can take the lessons and love imparted by our departed loved ones to propel us forward into the light.
My father's passing has taught me that to be human is to feel pain, but it is also to find resilience in the face of adversity. It is to accept what is, to stop fighting the internal battle against the inevitable, and to embrace life with all its struggles.
So, I choose to honor my father's legacy not by succumbing to sorrow, but by living boldly and authentically—by seizing each moment with the same passion he once had. In doing so, I honor his spirit and carry forth his love into the world.
I extend heartfelt gratitude to Black's Funeral Home in Marshall, Texas, for their compassionate assistance in preparing for my father's departure. Their attention to detail and thoughtful gestures eased the weight of our grief, allowing us to honor his memory with dignity and grace.
To the friends and family who gathered to celebrate my father's life, I am deeply thankful. Your presence and support have been a source of strength during this trying time for me and my family.
As we navigate the challenges of life and loss, let us remember: healing begins with a choice. Let us choose to embrace life fully, to find joy amidst the pain, and to honor the legacies of those we have lost by living our best lives NOW!