Five years ago on December 9, my
very healthy father had a stroke which left him in a coma. He remained
so for 5 days during which time, my 10 siblings, myself, and numerous grandchildren
sat vigil by his bedside so that he was never alone in his journey.
We laughed and cried together
during the ensuing days, confident that Dad knew we were there together and could hear our pain of loss and our joy at having been blessed with such a Dad.
He left this place on December 13,
encircled by his beloved children and grandchildren ~ a more loving circle
I have not seen before or since. Each year on the 13th those who
can, meet at my father's graveside, light 11 votive candles (one for each
kid) and remember him together. We
retell the stories and laugh again at the ones that, over the years, have always brought communal laughter.
This year, the fifth anniversary
of his death, I wanted to do something a little more defined....an actual
memorial service, so to speak. That's where your web site helped
me out. I spent some time searching the various sections of your
site and found several very beautiful and fitting poems
that spoke to our experience and the loss of our Dad. The poems we read from your site were: "Footprints on the Heart," "Weep Not For Me," "In Memory of You", and "All Is Well." I also put together some of the things that were written for his original memorial service and a poem written for him by my sister.
Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren
were there this year, much to my joy, and each person present (except the
little ones) read a piece in Dad's honor. We played some Christmas
music and lit our candles, leaving them on his stone for lighting by others
as they visit with him over the holidays. While I do not believe
that my father's "remains" are my father, nor that his spirit
resides at the particular place on this earth, I do know that he was there with us that day.
I just wanted to say thanks for your contribution to this very important and memorable occasion. I've passed your address on to any number of people. Thanks for being there.