Nine days ago, at approximately 7:30 pm that night, a pretty significant hole had formed in my heart. What had been there for the past 38 years of my life was the physical presence of my Dad on this world. And even though (by this time) we had been expecting his “last breath” for a couple of days, it still didn’t help the sudden onset of emptiness I felt in my chest.
I didn’t know what to expect … or how it would feel to lose someone so significant in my life. I didn’t know that my emotions could swing from one spectrum to another in the blink of an eye. After all, how can I have gone from laughing hysterically about a particularly funny incident involving my Dad … to crying inconsolably about that hole in my heart.
Except now, after nine whole days of gathering with family and friends … of praying the traditional Filipino-Catholic Novena following the departure of a loved one … I can finally say that the hole in my heart has begun to fill. And it’s because of all those family members and friends that have come out in droves to celebrate my Dad’s life.
Although not quite to back to capacity, the emptiness that once occupied that hole is now filled with the memories I have of my Dad … of all those special Daddy-Daughter moments. I know that I can look back at those moments and feel my Dad’s presence enveloping me.
But more importantly, that hole is now filled with all the stories about my Dad that were shared with me these past two weeks. It’s been filled with the incredible support I’ve felt from old friends and even older friends … whether it was driving clear across the State just to spend 5 minutes crying with me minutes before the Funeral Mass. Or making an extra trip to Mickey Dee’s to pick up a sweet iced tea and iced latte for me and Hubby. Or even just being there to hug me; knowing that was exactly what I needed at that moment.
So thank you, all my family and friends … I hope you know how much every single kind word** you’ve said and every single kind gesture you’ve done has meant the world to me.
** Special thanks to my cousins … from both sides of my family. You’ve been my my saving grace during those dark, dark moments.
*** An extra-special thanks to my incredibly awesome husband. We joke about me having a thing for “The Rock” … but rest assured, you are my one and only Rock. You are my constant in the midst of chaos.