I was just out for a morning jog, when I was overcome with a feeling of support and encouragement from my Dad. The funny thing is, my Dad died almost 20 years ago.
If you have read any of my past blog articles, you may have surmised that my relationship with my father was a bit complicated when I was growing up. While we looked like the “white picket fence” idyllic family from the outside, there was A LOT going on inside our suburban New York home. Dad was a bit of a tormented man inside, and that seeped out onto some of his relationships.
Over the years I have come to peace with what went on with my father (see the post “Changing Our Stories”) and by the time he died, I was able to speak about him with nothing but love during his memorial service.
I firmly believe that life does not end after our physical bodies die here on earth. I’m not sure what happens or what it looks like, but I believe that our spirits become whole…that those things which kept us bound up inside while here on earth, those wounds which keep us from loving and being love all vanish once we die.
I believe it, and I have imaged my father that way. I imagine him as a whole, spiritual being. Amazingly, I have felt his presence with me over these last 20 years in ways I never felt when he was alive. In these decades since his death I have felt his support of my efforts to be of service to others. I have felt him apologizing at different moments for all of the mistakes he made long ago…and really meaning it. I have felt him urging me to continue when I have wanted to collapse and give up. I have felt him time and time again encouraging me to have integrity in my relationships, especially those with men. But mostly, I have felt him telling me how much he loves me and is proud of me… things which were extremely difficult for him to say when he was alive. Strangely, when I have taken those healing thoughts into parts of me which were starved as a little girl, I can feel some of my wounds diminishing. My heart opens to apologize for the ways in which I kept myself guarded from him out of fear of being hurt. I am made more whole.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a medium for those who have died. I don’t actually see my Dad. Instead, I’m talking about a strong feeling about him and a sense of his presence with me. Maybe it’s my own wishes of what he could have said and what he could have been long ago, but I don’t think so. And I’m only to happy to be in a way “re-parented” by these thoughts. Interestingly, as I have grown through these years, the intensity of his presence has waned a bit.
In this season of Resurrection and New Life…I believe Dad is still at work, helping me work through the mistakes and failures I make based on remnants of old wounds, so I may live more fully with those I love right now.
May it be so…