Daddy’s Girl: Grieving while Parenting

Daddy’s Girl: Grieving while Parenting

Losing a parent—or anyone around the holidays- seems like next level cruelty. But here we are. I want to first say that I am writing this in tears, but I am still writing. It is, after all, what our culture demands of us. Bills, work, school, and the holidays continue to roll by. Even though it feels like time has stood still for me. So, in the midst of my grief, I’m sharing a letter to my earthly father who will be celebrating his first Christmas in heaven.


It’s hard to walk into the house and not hear you on your phone in the back room. It’s hard to know that this Christmas there will be no cheesy gifts that you got from the shops in Harwin. I would give anything to take you back and hold on your hands one more time as we shop for gifts that I {and my siblings} will pretend to be surprised by when we open them. But what I still have is the memories and the lessons that you shared. In hopes of getting through this holiday season, I’d like to say thank you—for everything that you taught me.

You taught me to have faith.

Faith is substance of what we hope for and evidenced in what we don’t see. I don’t see you, but my hope is that you are in the secret place of the most High. That was our faith.

You taught me to be generous.

Giving selflessly, even wrapping gifts with your trembling weak hands, because you enjoyed giving and that joy was a priceless gift.

You taught me to pray and to forgive.

Relentlessly praying and earnestly forgiving even until the end. You sought forgiveness even with your last breath. That was your peace.

You didn’t leave millions behind. You didn’t leave many earthly possessions. But you did leave a legacy that is stronger in value than money. You left a legacy of kindness that I hope to instill in my son. A legacy of love that the world needs, but Heaven has. You taught me so much, and I hope to continue to teach others so that your life lives on.

That is the reason for the season. This season of grief. This season of life. This season of love.

Merry Christmas, Dad.  You have the best view.


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