I’ve been patiently waiting, waiting for some sign, some totem, something that would speak to me and provide this proof that my dad was settled in some sort of after life. I was raised religious and so, I guess my idea of afterlife is heavily influenced by those teachings– but after 43 years on this planet- I’ve come into contact with so many different versions and ideas, that I’m no longer sure what, if any after life really exists.
I do know that I’ve been living with guilt for a really long time. Guilt over not being religious, guilt about leaving the religious world, and anguish over these choices. I’ve definitely allowed this guilt to color my decisions about so many major life events. Although while in the thick of the situation, I don’t think I realized I was operating out of guilt rather than what I, Melissa, really wanted or needed.
I’ve allowed this guilt to continue to dominate me, and of course having my mother reinforce it- well that’s just been the fuel that has kept the fire burning.
But something switched off in me shortly after my dad died. I haven’t been able to quantify it or even articulate it-but today on what would’ve been his 74th birthday – I realize that THIS, this feeling of clarity- THIS must be my father. This must be his energy, his influence, guiding me, telling me to stop allowing my guilt-ridden feelings over religion, and gd to color my life’s choices ( see I can’t even spell the word GD– baby steps). Perhaps in death, my father has been able to teach me the greatest lesson of all- that of clarity and of living. To truly live in the moment, to make decisions not based on fear or guilt, but based on principles and ideas that I hold dear. To create a home and a family and a career that is of my own choosing, and to stop pretending to be something I’m not. And that who I am is more than okay and I don’t need to hide anymore.
In death my father has taught me that all this struggling, and guilty stuff- will do nothing for you except rob you of years of truly expressing what you know is your gift.I think about all the things my father did in his lifetime to pacify others, to keep up a certain appearance, when inside he hated it- actually on many levels despised it- but he did it because he felt trapped in a lifestyle that he could find no escape from. I think about how towards the end of his life he would say how desperately he wanted to move down South and escape NY. But he never had that opportunity.
In death my father has sent me a sign, he’s sent me this immeasurable sense of clarity and peace, and the belief that I need to follow what’s in my heart. I feel like he’s telling me this life is my one chance and I need to go for it. Thank you Daddy, I love you.