Mike Talks of His Father


On September 20, 1999 at 9:25PM my dad, Don, passed away. My family is in shock because the doctors assured him that he was strong enough to undergo the needed bypass surgery. He was only 69 years old. I can't remember a time when I felt this empty and helpless. I've never seen my family grieve like this. He was a big man, 6'3" and about 280. He used to box in the army. A tough looking guy with a heart of gold. He loved his children and his wife.

I've never seen love like he had for his 15 grandchildren. When I was considering what to say in the eulogy, I asked my family for stories to share with those who attended the funeral. They all had great stories of love and bonding and projects and wisdom. They all spoke at once. I was suddenly intimidated. It seemed that they all knew him better than I. Then it hit me; they didn't know him better than I did...they knew him differently than I did. He had a special relationship with each one of us. Each relationship unique to that person. I stood in front of my fathers coffin and spoke of his life. I spoke on his behalf. We buried him next to his brother, where he would love to be. Tonight I had a dream. I said aloud as I lay on the couch "Dad, feel free to talk to me in my dreams tonight. I will not be afraid". I dozed off for a while and there he was. He was standing in his "loose" pants, clean-shaven, fresh stylish haircut and looking healthy. In front of him I saw an old airplane. In front of the plane was a large group of people in uniform, almost like an old photo. There were maybe 18 or 20 people. In the front of the pack was his brother. Sitting beside him, a girl we lost in a car accident years ago and other familiar faces. I could see that he was kinda confused at first but, as if the old photo came to life, the people all began to cheer. They stood up and start running to him. I saw his handsome half smile and I knew in my heart he was in good hands and with a lot of people who had loved and missed him too. They surrounded him and hugged and welcomed him home. His mom was there. He was so happy to see her. The dream felt real and for me it was my dad's message that he is OK. So, I leave him in God's hands and I keep his memory alive in my heart forever. Tomorrow may feel different but, tonight I think I'll get some much-needed sleep.

Goodnight Dad. Talk to you later.....Mike


You can email Mike: [email protected]
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anniversary date 09-20-99
date of post 10-04-99


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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW