The holidays and especially Christmas seem to be some of the hardest times to get through when losing a loved one. It’s been three months since my husband, Michael passed and since then my daughters and I have been finding different ways to cope.
Recently, my oldest daughter, Kristin, wrote a tribute to her dad on Facebook. Both Kristin and her dad loved football and often went to Carolina Panthers games together. She especially was proud of the fact he coached youth football for many years and that she even played for him in elementary school, fielding a position on special teams. She says writing is therapy for her. Wanting to help others find a way to express their grief, she gave me permission to share her thoughts on this blog.
My dad loved football and sharing that passion with young men was his mission in life. Seeing him live it out year after year is what I admired most about him. Without being paid one penny, he lived day in and day out to serve his community to influence young men towards a right path. Giving them the tools to know right from wrong, striving to have good grades and pushing them to work for what they wanted was his goal. I wanted nothing more than to have my dad’s approval while growing up. I wanted to do the things he was interested in and be where he was.
These past few months have been the hardest months I’ve ever lived. Going though his things just doesn’t seem right, when I feel like anytime he’s coming back for them. I constantly have to remind myself, he isn’t. But that’s ok, I know I’m healing and working through things. I have to … life goes on and my boys depend on me. Dad wouldn’t want it any other way.
My boys ask about him all the time and want to see pictures … knowing he’s in heaven with Jesus. When I’m especially sad, my husband, Brian reminds me, “Your dad’s where we’re all trying to get to.” Brian is so right. Love you, Daddy!
There’s nothing more heart felt than a daughter’s love for her dad, except maybe a dad’s love for his daughters. Michael was proud of both Kristin and Kelly and loved nothing more than seeing his two daughters come to visit. He especially loved his three grandchildren and would do anything for them, looking forward to the day he could teach them about the sport he loved the most, football. Yes, he probably would have taught his granddaughter too. As the grandchildren grow, learning more and more about their grandfather, it’s great to know Michael’s legacy will live on through them.
We had our Christmas celebration early this year and at the end of the evening the tears began to flow. My oldest grandson, Carson wanted to know what was wrong. I told him I was missing Pawpaw Mike. He understood and said he missed him, too, afterwards giving me a hug. When I said he made me feel better, he was happy with that and went off to play. What a blessing.
Thanks to the many friends and family members who have been supportive and kind through this new season of life, but a special thanks to my daughters and their husbands, along with my grandchildren who have helped bring the sunshine back on the darkest of days.
In what ways have family members helped you in a time of grief? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email email@example.com