Birthday Letter to my Deceased Father
Today is my father’s birthday. He was my teacher when he was alive and continues to be my teacher after his death.
On September 22, I posted a blog, Letters to Lillianne, about my practice of writing letters to my grand daughter to remind her of her Spiritual heritage and introduce her to her ancestral lineage.
Another letter writing practice I look forward to is writing my father a letter on his birthday and Father’s Day to honor how he has informed me. And, today is his birthday. While my father walked this planet he taught me:
- To show up when I make a commitment,
- To decide I am personally responsible for the well-being of myself and my community,
- To teach through being and doing,
- To realize I wear my character on my sleeve and I can’t help but show it to others,
- To be willing to do what is mine to do whether it’s comfortable or not,
- To stand up for humanity when they can’t; then to teach them how,
- I don’t have to be involved in a formal religion to be a good person and connected to my Source.
My dad died in January of 2009 with his family surrounding his bedside. I felt the moment he left his body and I looked up toward the nurse and said “my dad just left his body.” She whispered back to me “yes, he did.” It would be another many hours before he would officially be certified as deceased since the machinery operated his body for him. Once unplugged, it was a few sparse minutes before the body stopped all functioning. Once my dad made his transition, he taught me:
- To deeply love means to be willing to let go,
- Completion is important. It does my Soul well to give a proper send off and honoring for another’s life,
- Life doesn’t end with the death of the body. He has visited me through dreams and apparitions,
- There is more to this world than can be seen with the eyes, in fact, there is more invisible than visible,
- There is no LOSS, just reconfiguration of energy,
- Who my dad was as a person is accessible to me any time, if I choose to live those qualities he embodied,
- His journey is his journey, my journey is mine. I am blessed ours was connected and shared, and my greatest gift back to him is to be more, not less, of myself.
This year my letter to him will include a lot about his great grand daughter Lillianne. What it felt like for me to be in the birthing room with my daughter and the power of the continuity of life, as I know it. I will write him about who my daughter has become as a mother, and my sister as an aunt. I will write to him about my own inner tribulations and how I allowed Grace instead of fear to guide me, in large part because of his life influence. I will update him on the things we loved and shared together like politics, sports, movies, how-to-business decisions and updates on the kids he coached. I end the letter thanking him for how he has influenced me. I will read it out loud and then tomorrow, I will burn or bury it, giving it back to the earth.
Happy birthday dad!!