Hey, can I share something with you?
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up and I cry (like I did minutes before I write this post). I'm man enough to admit that.
Sometimes, I lie in the bed as the tears stream down my face and other times, I sit on the edge of the bed and weep, almost uncontrollably. But, I fight to quickly get myself under control before I wake up my wife. I even get up periodically, go to the bathroom and look in the mirror, tell myself to get it together and just when I nearly do, I see his eyes...my father's eyes...and the tears start flowing again.
It's been nearly ten months since my dad passed (it's hard to say the "d" word when someone you love is no longer on this earth) and almost a year (Nov. 2) since my wife's dad passed.
We talk about our fathers sometimes, but I try my best not to cry around my wife or bring up her dad, out of fear of making her sad and bringing her to tears. And I do the same with my mom and baby sister, who my dad asked me to take care of if he didn't make it, for the same reason.
People tell you it's okay to mourn your loved one and that it will take time to find the new normal, but no one ever tells you how much or how little you should talk about that loved one. I worry so much about how others are doing that I usually do my mourning or remembering alone.
Everyone grieves differently, and I know that. That's why I try not to talk about my dad too often around my loved ones (and now, after reading this, they will know) because I don't want to bring anyone down. I know they are hurting just like I am and my dad doesn't want us to be sad or crying all the time.
If my dad were here, he would tell me to "cut that out" and to keep living my life. He would tell me he loves me, he's proud of me and that he wants me to continue being a good man. Sometimes, I wonder how I can do that without him, but then I remember what he, my mom and so many others have taught me throughout my 33 years on this earth.
Dad would tell me to "do right and right will follow you" and "stick with God." It's funny how so many things I thought were long forgotten have been brought back to my remembrance.
It's only by God's love and comfort and the love of my family that I've made it this far. And it's that love and support that caused me to share this post with all of you.
I know others are going through the same thing. Some of you have just lost a loved one, while others are still mourning over loved ones who passed some time ago. But, we are all mourning and I want to let you know you are not alone.
So, when you get up in the middle of the night or even during the daytime, and you begin to miss that loved one and want to talk about that loved one, remember that someone else does too. Don't mourn alone.
Matthew 5:4 says: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." The Message version says: “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you."
God cares about us so much that he will comfort us when we mourn. I know this for a fact. Yes, I still get sad and cry from time to time, but I'm no longer crying every day or sad all day long like I was after my dad passed. I didn't think that would ever happen.
Earlier this year, I thought I would never write again, but my earthly and heavenly dads didn't want me to sit on my gift. I'm happy to say that I've completed my second novel (which hopefully will be released at the end of the month) and I'm working on my third and fourth novels now. It hasn't been easy, but again, God, my family and friends have helped, comforted and loved me every step of the way.
I know my dad is proud and as much as I miss him, he wants me to live the life God gave me until it's time for us to be reunited in Heaven.
I'll end this post with this: don't let sadness take away the joyful memories. Grieve, but continue to live and keep moving forward. You honor your loved ones by using your God-given gifts and never giving up. And remember, not only are God and your loved ones cheering you on, I am too.
God bless and keep moving forward,
Tyrone Tony Reed Jr.