I was having dinner with my girlfriend the other night when the topic of death came up. We are both unfortunate members of girls-who’ve-lost-their-fathers-too-young club; and as well-meaning as many people are, it is nice to speak with someone who understands what I’m going through.
I always assumed, perhaps too naively, that everyone thought there was omniscience in death. I was afraid I couldn’t feel my dad‘s presence because he was mad at me over something he discovered I had done. My girlfriend almost laughed and asked how he would have found out.
I looked at her strangely and said, “Because he’s dead of course. He knows everything!”
And then it dawned on me that even if you agree that there is something after death, there are still a million ways to interpret the level of engagement from our beloveds on the other side.
Like guardian angels. So many people have told me that now my father will look over me. And I agree, because if he could be my guardian angel, he would without-a-doubt do it. He was always my protector when he was living and I like to think he continues to be my side.
But is it realistic to think this? Are people just trying to appease me? And since I am so desperately wanting to believe that my dad is now my angel…am I falling for a Santa-like story?
Are people simply trying to comfort me or do they too really believe that our loved ones become guardian angels?
Because I do. I have to believe it. Or at least I will hold on to that hope with every fiber of my being.
There is a difference between losing a father (or anyone, really) who has lived a full-life and one that will never walk you down the aisle at your wedding or hold his grandchildren. Will he be there for those moments?
I need to know that on some level my father will watch me marry the love of my life and meet my child for the first time.
I am still struggling to understand death and cope with its consequences. And while there are certain things that people can agree on, especially the same members of a faith, there are countless opinions about what happens after that…which brings me the most confusion of all.
I feel guilty that I can’t “feel” my dad’s presence when so many others claim to talk to their parents or loved ones regularly. Or I hear that its a good thing that I can’t feel my dad’s presence because that means he passed to the other side. Or perhaps he’s with another family member now because they’re hurting more.
…what does it all mean?
Or do I simply need to find my own truth? That’s the scary part though…just because I want to believe something doesn’t make it true. And maybe I won’t know the answer to all of the world’s mysteries when I die.
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