Seasons of Life are usually complex, never simple. Some are planned and predictable; others catch us by surprise. Some last a short time; others, much longer. Some seasons are wonderful and bring us joy; others make us question and pray.
All seasons bring change. And, in doing so, Life’s seasons disrupt the current flow of our lives.
My Dad’s passing ushered in a season of letting go. This type of season often requires a certain kind of extra energy. Wrestling with acceptance that life has, yet again, changed significantly. Riding an unpredictable rollercoaster of emotions. Toggling between missing someone we love and having to still show up for Life each day.
It’s a lot at times, this season.
And mine arrived on the heels of a different kind of season – almost 15 years of elder care, helping Dad after Mom died.
My elder care season flowed from love and concern for Dad’s safety, well-being, and dignity during his winter years. It required our family to honestly see and accept his short-term memory loss, and then work together with Dad to help him. It meant being in tune with Dad, listening to what he shared and what he didn’t say. Staying flexible was required as his needs changed. Communication was essential, and text messages between my sister and I about Dad’s care were many miles long.
The season meant that Dad occupied a sacred space in my mind and in my heart each day. Losing Mom and then my brother five years later created a quiet sense of urgency to cherish Dad and ensure he was okay in every way. I’d think: What does Dad need today? Is he content? What can I do today to bring him joy?
With his passing, the season has changed yet again and so has that sacred space. It’s no longer filled with so much of what I miss most. Feeling Dad’s hugs. Hearing his laughter. Watching him create beautiful artwork. For now, that sacred space is one where grief and letting go sit alongside beautiful memories and gratitude for Dad’s life and love he so generously showered on us all.
It’s a new season.