My father would have celebrated his 66th birthday this past January. As we have every year since the day he left this world, my sister and I post a message on his FaceBook page as a tribute to the man we called “Dad” for so many years. Many people “liked” this message, and commented about how they miss his audacious self. Among those comments lied one in particular that initially angered me. Yet, as I thought about it throughout the day I felt as if there was value to this comment. Here I am, almost three months after the post thinking about it. Here is what the comment said:
“I know he has to be smiling down now realizing what beautiful daughters he has but a little sad realizing how blessed he was.”
It still brings tears to my eyes. It continues to make me ponder whether my father feels remorse? I am a person who believes in an afterlife. I believe that my father has finally found his peace in this afterlife. So, let’s say he is watching over us from heaven. Does he feel sadness when he sees how blessed he truly was in this life? I am conflicted. A part of me wants him to feel sadness when he sees my beautiful daughter, the blue-eyed, brown haired angel that he never met. I want him to see my two nieces and the beautiful young women they have become. I want him to see the pain we still feel when we are reminded that he is no longer here. But, I also want him to be at peace. I do not want him to be in pain any longer. This is where I am conflicted; my heart wants one thing, while my head says another. This has been a common struggle since losing dad to suicide.
I once read in a book that people who die by suicide are “stuck” between the real world and heaven initially following their death. This place is not meant to bring pain. It’s purpose is to give those who die by suicide the chance to see the pain that occurs in the aftermath of their death. I like to think this is true. For some reason, this has brought me some peace during my journey. I didn’t want my father to continue to feel pain, but I also didn’t want to just let him off the hook.
I truly believe that people who die by suicide were either born with or somehow gained foggy glasses that prohibited them from seeing the blessings in their life. The pain from within, the illness in their heads clouded their ability to see life as it was. I don’t think my father knew how blessed he was in the minutes before his death. I hope he can see it now.