A couple of months ago I met a lady named Giselle. It was a chance meeting. She was the physical therapist assigned to my mom who is embarking on the journey of knee replacement surgery. As I sat with my mom during the interview, Giselle asked about my dad who passed away in January of 2009. This information must have been in my mom's records. She seemed genuinely concerned as she reviewed my mom's history. After a brief pause she explained that she had lost her mom three weeks prior.
A chapter opened.
Giselle spoke much of her mom. She mentioned her mom's career achievements, how much her father loved her and how sudden she passed after being diagnosed with cancer. I just listened, as I remembered my own words after my dad's passing. I felt like I was watching a movie of my own life.
Giselle then surprised me by asking about my own journey through grief. I explained to her that my dad's passing looked nothing like what I thought it would have. I was one of those people who believed they could prepare for the fateful day. Consequently, I experienced what the Valley really looked like from my own experience. A cruel teacher at times.
I went on to tell her that after his funeral, it felt like the earth (at least where my dad existed inside of me) was scorched. As if some great fire had consumed all that I knew. But with all of that, a shoot of green appeared from that charred ground. I wasn't paying much attention and I was consumed by who was lost. I'm sure she understood the process of looking for the face and presence of someone you love. I told her that in that place, over time, gave way to what began looking more and more like a flower. As more time passed the flower bloomed into something like I'd never seen before. The most beautiful flower where Charles once was.
I told Giselle that my little story was my best attempt at describing my process of dealing with my dad's passing. Funny thing was, I'd never told anyone that story until that day and time. Amazing how life unfolds. Amazing.