After The Anguish And Tears

shooting star

Four days following the passing of my dear father I pause at the end of another long day to spend a few selfish moments to myself.

As a writer I am prone to long moments of reflection, a causal effect of one’s many life experiences that impact the muse in a cluster of rapid fire impressions that ultimately spill out onto the page as paint to canvas. Initially the landscape of the muse seems remote, muted, colourless and without texture.  As emotions well and visions become fair trade an image leaps from the page upon easel, each fibre energized, each irregularity smoother, each stroke of the brush embellished until one’s innermost wants, desires, fears, joys and imaginative notions take on contour and depth and irrefutable meaning.

Further into the recesses of the mind are born the magic and beauty of one’s imagination, a mystical blend of truth and consequences, anticipation, dreams of past, present and future, and perceptions of what life was, is and perhaps shall be.

I close my eyes and see a father who has only recently left this world aged, tired, anxious and confused. His world became a derangement of cognitive impairment that left him exposed to a world relatively unsympathetic, distant. He was isolated, lonely, resigned.

In dad’s final days though he drifted further and further in the abyss of the unconscious he remarkably had but a few moments of wake and seeming awareness. His glazed, vacant eyes that once had the lustre of a brilliant blue, his mind that once crafted with precision, his voice that once commanded attention and his body which once stood tall with an unmistakable pride and dignity…his collective self reached out to once again have and hold all that once was held tightly in his grasp and though his voice fell silent the glimmer in his eyes and beaming smile spoke a thousand words in heartfelt milliseconds. And then our tears would fall.

For so many hours as I sat prone by his bedside, listening intently to every breath, every uncomfortable movement, I would languish in the thought of his imminent passing. I so wanted to be there when his time would come yet feared so dreadfully the anguish of that final moment. I would mark time on the clock for my daily leaving only to linger…waiting, wanting.

In the moment of one’s passing there must surely be an instant of clarity, of peace and elation as an irreversible connection to afterlife energizes the coming journey, from dark to light, from fear to euphoria, from a dream to a remarkable new reality.

Life is a remarkable journey in our earthly being. Our existence on this earth is without absolute definition nor timeline. Our fate is seemingly in the hands of a higher power, an entity of extraordinary command and transformation beyond the incredulous strength of the human body, mind and soul.

For dad as mom before him, and their daughter and son before them who perished a new life force guided them in their journey. Those left behind would first suffer the anguish of their loss, the tears would fall and the morrow would bring new beginnings, new understandings, new light from out of the darkness. Collective spirits would twinkle from a distant star. This night I gaze beyond a moonlit window sill, far, far and away into the dark of night…and there in a distant galaxy I saw a shooting star…my hopes and dreams by the speed of light, the anguish and tears carried into another dimension. I looked ever intently upon that distant bright star, closed my eyes and made a wish only you, dearest mom and dad, could possibly hear.

And in my heart I know this…wishes can and do come true.

Farewell mom and dad. I will always love you.
© Don MacIver 2012; All Rights Reserved



11 thoughts on “After The Anguish And Tears

    1. Mary Ann, thank you so much. I lost mom nearly ten years ago. It was truly a turning point in my life…a deep void left in my heart, mind and soul. Now dad is gone and the floodgates open all over again. In the days ahead I will reflect long on a good life that mom and dad provided for me and my sister. We have so much to be thankful for…so much to be sad for. As time passes only the good memories will prevail. We loved them dearly.


  1. Well done, Don… I am already languishing in thoughts of how I will experience in the not distant future what you have over the past few weeks. I anticipate difficulty with it because I won’t be able to hold vigil by my parents’ bedsides when their time comes, as you were with yours. However, your strength and your words are an inspiration.


    1. Thank you so much Peter. Coming from such a treasured friend your words mean a lot. When families are spread out and distant geographically the challenges are great. I feel so blessed that we remained within a short drive to see dad every day. In this day and age it is increasingly difficult to stay close to all family for a lifetime.


    1. Ah, thank you so much Shelli. It was a very difficult time in my life and being not far off the one year mark the thoughts surface often. I embrace all the fond memories now. I wanted to share this experience publicly in the hopes that it will help others who have/are going through the same period of loss. The response has been tremendous and for that I am so pleased and thankful. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words.


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