Twenty-one years ago, my father left this earth and entered his heavenly home. On this Father’s Day Sunday, and in the days leading up to it, I’ve been missing him almost as much as I did on the first night that he was gone. Mom is now, there, too.
Through re-reading a poem that I wrote twenty-one years ago, I’ve been able to release some tears that remained in my heart. I can’t explain why that helped me, but I feel comforted.
In honor of my father, and in hope that it will bring comfort to others whose fathers have passed, I ‘m sharing my poem.
I am getting older; the day will soon arrive
When I will be with Jesus—on the other side:
The other side of suffering, the other side of pain,
The other side of sorrow, sickness, fear, and shame.
Daddy, you are closer; you are tired, I can see.
Each day is such a struggle; I want you to be free.
I know that you are ready; your passage has been paid.
I heard you thank the Lord one day, with confidence you prayed.
I would like to sit beside you just to hold your hand
And look into your clear blue eyes–with love that understands.
I would like to make this journey easier for you.
But part of me would like to beg, “Daddy, take me too!”
Part of me feels angry; part of me feels scared.
And part of me just wants to cry, “Daddy, stay right here!”
I want to hear more stories, play another game,
Walk backward into childhood and share with you my dreams.
You worked so hard to give me things you did not have.
You said to me, “It’s nothing; I want you to be glad.
“I want you to be happy; I want you to have fun.
“It’s because I love you that these things for you I’ve done.”
Best of all, you taught me the way of faith to walk.
I learned by your example; you did not vainly talk.
Through many rugged valleys with Jesus you have passed.
I know he will be with you in this—the very last.
I see the shadow falling on this earthly shore.
I release you, Daddy, to go where life is more.
As the valley deepens, here upon this side,
I pray you will go quickly and in peace abide.
Goodbye dearest Daddy; goodbye, just for a while.
I’m glad your struggle’s over; through teardrops, I can smile.
For you, there’s no more suffering; for you, there’s no more pain.
For you, there’s no more sorrow—only joy will remain.
What a lovely tribute to you Dad, Jane. And such a excellent representation of the struggle for those of us left behind after our loved ones have gone on to be with our Father.
Although there is relief knowing that their suffering has now come to an end and comfort and joy knowing they have actually passed from death to (eternal) life, still there is grief for us as we long to be with them again. Your poem captures this struggle so well.
Thank you for your comment, Terry. I praise God for giving me words to express both feelings of grief and joy.