Today I share one of my favorite photos of my dad and me. ❤️
5 years ago today he died and my world and heart were flipped upside down. He was only 63. The depth of sorrow and grief was something that at times took the breath from my lungs and left my heart feeling broken in a million ways.
My husband told me once that a ghost is the presence of an absence. It took me several years to grieve hard before I was ready to give up holding onto that absence.
When my time was right I was finally able to let go.
In letting go of his absence I found his presence returned.
I've had so many 'hello's' from him. Be it an awareness that he's aware of what's happening in my current moment, a connection through reading one of his favorite Scriptures, my nose in certain pictures that reflects his, tears in the night where I know he is still praying on my behalf, and in the countless words he's spoken over me that I now draw upon for strength, wisdom, and courage.
It may all sound crazy, but it's been my journey.
And I've learned that grief looks different for all of us so let everyone have their own experience with it.
I still sometimes feel that absence and the tears begin to flow. I still have moments that my heart burns from the sadness or longing to have a conversation and I'm reminded that grief is still a companion helping me process.
I welcome grief and say thanks for connecting me to myself and him in a way I didn't know was there before I met you.
I will leave you with one of his favorite passages:
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
If you are walking on the road of grief today I extend my heart to share in your sorrow.
Know that you are not alone.
My dad was a Fire Crew Supervisor and died during his pack test as some of you have reached out and asked about.
“Fire Crew Supervisor Drake, a career employee of Wyoming State Forestry Division, supervised and trained inmate firefighters called “Smoke Busters,” well-respected teams utilized to fight wildland fires and complete many other associated projects on both Federal and state lands.” -FEMA website.