A year ago this past week, on September 3, 2009, my father died quite unexpectedly from a massive coronary. It hardly seems like it's been a year. I'm very aware of the blessings that have been extended, especially to my Mom, during this year. She is literally surrounded by angels who have made her life without Dad much easier to handle. It's not been without its trials, to be sure, but how grateful I am for the comfort and guidance she's been given. I see the hand of our Father in Heaven in her life every day.
As I've had a chance to think back on the events of a year ago, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML, as well as some close friends, have asked how I'm doing and I've asked myself the same question. I think I'm really OK. From the moment I learned of Dad's passing, my focus has primarily been on my Mom, her care and condition, and the overall status of the Lyons' family. These have not been made unilaterally. There have been lots of calls as a family or in person discussions when I've been back in the PHX-area. So for me, it seems like there's not been a lot of time to grieve.
And what is grieving anyway? Often times, throughout this first year, I've told my Mom there's no rule book to how you behave in situations like hers, losing your beloved husband of 50 years. And I realize, that the same applies to me. Have I wept uncontrollably? No. Have I regretted a conversation that went unspoken between my Dad and I? No. Have I missed him every day? Absolutely. How could I not? He was a tremendous example and a pillar of faith and spiritual strength. Have I tried to live my life better as a result of his example? Yes, with middle of the pack results. Ultimately, there is no play book here that dictates how I have to grieve. Grieving is a deeply personal thing (I know, I know...queue the irony music as I find myself talking about it on my open for all to read blog). I miss him each and every day. There are times when tears have come. Two weeks ago, as an example, as we sang "I Know My Redeemer Lives" at the conclusion of an incredibly powerful Sunday School lesson, the tears flooded down my cheeks, as I was touched by the spirit of that song. And it was that same spirit that has made my sadness so much easier to bear this past year.
You see, I know that I will see my Dad again. There is a "something else" after this life. This life, this time here on earth, it's just a time of learning, testing and probation. There is a life after this one. One where we will be reunited as families for the eternities. I've been so comforted by that knowledge that I believe that's why I've not been so full of grief. And there's a measure of comfort in knowing my Dad believed these same things. He taught them to me. He taught me many things, principles that have made my life better and I am so grateful for that. I'm most grateful for the principle of choice that he taught me. It's beautifully captured in this video:
Thank you, Dad, for teaching me well. I miss you. I'm forever grateful for your example. I'm trying to be the man you were. I hope I can get there.