On Losing My Father

If you are lucky, it happens like this:

You lose a parent

(and not a child)

after they lived a long life,

and as they were declining,

but without too much lingering

in the land of increasing diminishments.


It is the natural order of things.


The family gathers

and shares stories

grateful for the life that has given life

grateful for the weaving together of family

that spans generations and continents.


There is a celebration for this life well-lived.

Many attend the memorial

New perspectives emerge

as more stories are shared.

Snapshots provide fragments —

pieces of this life you never knew.


You feel the love of those around you.

Cards, calls, texts and hugs

envelope you in those foggy days of shock

and the kindness brings needed tears.


And still, there is loss.

A parent — one who’s love has been poured on you

however imperfectly

for all of your days.

The web of security and connection has a deep tear

and needs to be rewoven.


There will be time for that, later.

For now,

in these nascent days of grief

humbled by the finality of death

and fresh with new perspectives on this life

I find myself

piecing together a new mosaic

recomposing the portrait

of my father

who was once

larger than life.