My dad was working at an auto parts store while he went back to college. There was supposed to be two people there at all times. My dad was closing that night and for whatever reason the other person went home and left him there alone. Some men came in to rob the store and tied my dad in a chair and shot him in the back of the head.
I was in Upper Michigan at camp. My mom and sister had to drive 10 hours to come tell me and take me home. I was in my cabin because I am so darn sensitive to the heat and wasn’t feeling well. I will never forget seeing their faces peek in the door of the cabin and wondering what in the world they were doing there. I will never forget my mom having to tell me that horrible news and just screaming. I thought this had to be a dream. It just had to be. There is no way this could be happening.
I was 13. An age a girl needs her daddy.
My parents were divorced. My dad had remarried and had a daughter with his wife. My half sister was about a year old when he was killed. I wish she could have known our dad.
My step mother did not like my mom (to put it mildly). When we went to the viewing for my dad she had my uncles posted at the door with instructions to not allow my mom in. My sister and I were too young to go in there by ourselves and deal with that alone. So we had to wait until after the viewing was over and have a private viewing for just my family. It was awful. I still can’t believe that she did that. She also promised that my mom would not be allowed at the funeral the next day. Because of that, and not wanting to inflict any more harm on us, we didn’t attend my dad’s funeral. I didn’t get to go to my own daddy’s funeral.
I write this because I have been told (by my counselor, and my mom and sister, and maybe others) that I have not really grieved my dad’s death.
And I probably haven’t. I don’t have pictures of him up in my house. I don’t watch old home movies with him in them. I don’t talk about him much.
I try to avoid looking at those things to avoid the pain. Like if I don’t acknowledge it, then it didn’t happen. I can talk ABOUT it. But I can keep myself distant from it simply by relaying the facts. Telling the story. But disconnecting myself from it.
And that’s not healthy. I need to enter the pain, and ask God into it. Ask Him to come with me directly INTO the pain. Face it head on and step fully into it. And in that, ask God to come in with me and heal it.
That is the healthy thing to do. I have not done that.
But I have to do that with my dad’s murder, just like I have to do that with grieving Tim’s affair.
I have to enter the pain WITH God.
I have to feel it so He can heal it.
And that’s hard to do.
But I did that yesterday. And today as I write this. I weep. I pray. I ask God to hold my hand as I enter this pain of losing my dad and ask Him to heal my heart. Because only He can. And avoiding it doesn’t heal. It just prolongs the healing.
You see, yesterday was a hard day for Tim and I. We have been going through a hard patch. So yesterday I made arrangements for us to go out together and have time when we are actually AWAKE and talk. Usually our only time together alone is after Caleb is in bed and we just are at the end of our days and tired. So yesterday I was pre-occupied with all that was going on at home.
Then I got a text from my sister reminding me of the date. My sister really keeps up with those dates and commemorates them. She LOVES to see pictures of dad and fully embraces remembering him.
So, when I got that text after Tim and had our dinner and hard talks, instead of just deleting the text and saying to myself “I can’t deal with this now.” And choosing to avoid yet again. I didn’t.
I cried. Hard. In the car.
And I prayed. And I asked God to help me embrace the pain. And walk with me in it. And heal my heart.
And He did.
And I did that again today as I write this post.
I need to feel it so He can heal it.
And that is hard.
And it’s not a one time thing. OOOOO No! It is NOT a one time thing!
But I have to choose to do it when the times arise. And ask and let God heal my heart.
So I can be whole. So I can let Him heal me from everything. So I can be better. A better person, a better mommy, a better wife, a better friend, a better Princess of the King.
Ow. It hurts.