On Saturday, February 9th, I prayed like I usually pray on my birthdays. While praying God told me to read Matthew 5. I realize so many of the verse applied to my life and I feel that some will happen later on during the year. But I paid no attention to one particular verse - not knowing it will hit me 5 days later.
Five days later, on February 14th, my father passed away. I was about 3 hours late, father passed away on 20.27 and I came to the hospital at around midnight. I wrote this in the previous post - but it really was too sudden and surreal for me to believe in. I wasn't angry, sad neither was I hysterical. But, when I had the chance to see my father in the mortuary, I felt this sudden peace. Although I was crying, when I saw my father's smiling face and I had no choice but to be strong for my mother and sister. I had strength and peace.
The mourning service lasted for two days, first day was the most painful. Seeing so many relatives and friends coming over, it was hard to hold back my tears. And it was on the first service that I realize, as much as it hurts to lose my father, it is even harder to sing and say that God is just, caring and loving after taking my father away from me. I could not sing at all. Then on the second day, I had someone asking me whether or not I had received signs of my father's death. I thought no, I don't think I had. Then I had sudden urge to re-read Matthew 5.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
- Matthew 5:4
Turns out God had laid out all His plans for me this year, including my father's death. I just didn't pay attention; I mean who would expect they will be mourning over their father 5 days after celebrating their birthday? Certainly not me. But, a friend sent a message to me: "God brings people He loves closer to Him". So I think God really really loves my father and that is why He wants my father real close to Him.
"(v33) When Jesus saw her weeping, and the people who had come with her weeping, he was intensely moved in spirit and greatly distressed. (v34) He asked, "Where have you laid him?" They replied, "Lord, come and see." (v35) Jesus wept."
- John 11: 33 - 35
Just like how Jesus wept for the death of Lazarus... I know God must've wept together with my mother, Femme and I. And as much as I love my father, I am sure that God loves him even more.
"Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on for too long."
- Tuesdays With Morrie
It is okay to cry. I once wrote this when a friend of mine lost his beloved mother. "Crying is not a sign of weakness, since birth it is the sign of being alive." I have cried for the loss of my father, but I should not stay sorrowful. My father left with a peaceful and beautiful smile on his face... so I will also have to live my life with a smile on my face in the future. I am definitely not fully okay at the moment, but I will be. Immanuel... God is with me. He'll comfort me and make me understand through time.
When we have tests coming, we would revise lessons we've had. When we have job interview, we would practice (some even talk to themselves in the mirror). When we're going on a trip, we pack our bags and documents. We all like to be prepared. Because we know that our life events depend on just how much prepared we are. But I found that there is one thing we, humans, could never be prepared for. No matter how many people have gone through it. No matter how many studies have been done. No matter how conscious we are about it. No one, no human, is ever ready or prepared to face death.
Death... we all heard many different stories about it. Some of us heard it from a close friend, some heard it from a faraway relative. We heard about it so many times, we took it as a practice. We thought stories of other people's experiences would be able to prepare our hearts when it's our time to face the death of our loved ones. We thought other people's stories would be able to guide us through. But only until we had experienced it first hand, we realized, no matter how much prepared we thought we are... We never were.
Many of us a scared of passing away. Many of us question and wonder when will be the day of our own death. We even imagine of the possibilities of our death and it scares us most of the time. But no matter how scary our own death could be, death of our loved ones are always much more frightening. Because we all know that no matter how scary leaving this world could be, it is harder to be the one left behind. Because we, among any other creature, are a highly social beings and we like to live with other social beings. We spend our lives belonging to a family, growing up with pals and friends, building connections and networking, finding 'soulmate' to spend our lives together with and giving birth. We were always prepared for arrivals, birth, new items, entrance, etc. We are experts in welcoming. Which makes separation, farewell and dearth a hard thing to accept.
"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to our bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things."
- Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid
I wasn't ready when my father went. It all happen too soon and too surprising that it feels surreal. Those stories that I thought would be able to prepare me for this, is useless. And as much as I want him here with me... he is gone, buried and will definitely be missed. He left with a peaceful smile on his face, I will have to live my life with a smile on my face also in the future.
Dad, I miss you already. Thank you for leaving with a smile, you make it easy for me to let you go. I am not fully okay at the moment, but I will be. I'll take care of mom and Femme, you taught me and showed me how to be joyful, bright, courageous, strong and tough... I'll live my life that way. I love you, and will forever miss you. I am very very very proud to be your daughter and to have you as my father.