One of the last recordings by Luther Vandross was the song “Dance with My Father.” While my father and I never danced together, I believe I understand the meaning of Luther’s song. In the song, he recalled memories of his father.
As I was going through my closet this morning, I came across a pair of shoes. Instantly, I thought of my dad. The shoes were the ones I wore three years earlier as my dad escorted me down the aisle at my wedding. He was so excited! If only I had the chance to do it all over again.
Later that year after my wedding, my dad was diagnosed with leukemia. Eight months later he was gone. Never in a million years would I have imagined him leaving us so soon. It’s been two years since my dad’s passing but I often think about him. I know he is in a better place, (absent from the body is to be present with The Lord), but my heart is still heavy.
How do you handle the pain of losing a loved one?
One tactic I take to deal with death is to remember. I remember the times that we shared and what they meant to me. I might also reflect on my loved one’s favorite Scripture. Reading “their” Scripture often gives me comfort.
If you find yourself having difficulty dealing with the loss of a loved one, “The Faces of Grief,” a Women of the ELCA resource may help you. You can download it for free.
Make the best of the time that you have with your friends and family!
Deb Calvert is associate executive director of Women of the ELCA.
Photo by Muriel Heard-Collier, used with permission, Creative Commons