We are getting closer to the date that will mark the 6 months, or half year, of your death. I still remember the month of August and the hospice where you spent the last 6 weeks of your life. I remember your ups and downs and I remember my gratefulness of being so richly Blessed to be able to spend the last months of your life with you. The Lord was more than merciful to us, giving us such Blessing when there has been 10.000 km between us for more than 10 years. I remember vividly your smile, your hugs, your room… and your pains. I remember holding your hand when you drifted off into the merciful morphine haze, crying my tears while asking the Lord if He would shorten your suffering. The cancer was in your bones and spreading fast.
Despite your pains dad, you hung on to life. You had such a love for life itself, for the nature around you. You always took pride in knowing the names of the birds and you could whistle like most of these birds. You grew up in the forest. You knew every corner and tree in the deer garden north of Copenhagen because that was your playground. The amusement park down the path there were many friends and friends meant free rides in the rollercoaster. Oh dad… I have heard your stories many times over. You even pointed out the trees grandpa, your own dad, had planted in his job as a so-called lumberjack, when we took a walk through the forest. I loved our walks dad and I will never forget those. They were the highlight of my childhood Saturdays.
As a little girl you meant the world to me. As a teenager you were controlling but generally on my side during my battles with mom. As a young woman you turned to the angrier side, didn’t you. Was it too painful for you to let me go? I sometimes wonder why you became a grumpy one during the years before I found myself a good man. And just when I did, mom passed away. That was some blow wasn’t it!? Just 6 months before that your own mom had passed away and that was hard on you, I remember.
Last year around this time I spoke to you on the phone daily. Sometimes you were sad and cried. Sometimes you were positive and uplifting. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t do more… I wish I could have taken away the pain. You were no whimpy kid – or man. But you suffered during that time and I cried many tears feeling alone and far away. I somehow know that you did too, though you never told me.
We had our arguments in life. But blood is thicker than water. I will never forget the day I had to tell you that your life was coming to an end and that it was okay for you to let go. It wasn’t okay dad, because I didn’t want you to leave… But you had to. We both knew that.
Since you passed away dad, I have carried with me my sketchbook and pencil and tried to draw my way out of the grief. I can tell you that it helps a little to put strokes on the pain of grief I felt and though I had no shock, there was a lot of grief – and now the “missing” part. I will never stop missing you dad. And though I probably will always have a tiny bit of doubt in my heart if you indeed went to be with the Lord Jesus, I take comfort in knowing that you wanted to believe and trusts God that He honored your wish.
I have painted my way through the pain dad and I hope you like it. This is you – your big broad shoulders, wearing your hunting clothes, walking across the field toward your sunset.
I will never stop loving you. I will always be your daughter.