Since the 18th September I have been dancing between the emotions of Joy and Sorrow.
It was on that date that it became clear that my dad’s health was beginning to rapidly decline.
He has been sick for a very long time but had always managed to pull through and defy the odds. I instinctively knew he would not pull through this time.
And so my heart began to feel heavy.
I drove up to Castlemaine the next day and spent 5 ½ hours with him on my own. He shared more stories with me about his life, we did not leave unspoken all the words that needed to be said and we talked about what he wanted for his service.
When I asked him how long, he said he felt within himself he would not make it past the end of the month. This was confirmation of my instinct as he had always said ‘it’s not my time yet, I’m not ready to go’… but this time was different.
One week later, I was in a light filled room surrounded by many loved ones as I celebrated the launch of my book. A day that represented, for me, the birthing of a new chapter in my life.
There was much joy and laughter, love and light that filled the days around the launch. I have been humbled and grateful for the feedback I have received about my book and the impact it has had already, but for me the time following the launch was as much about spending time with dad.
Regardless of the exhaustion I felt, I drove up to Castlemaine after my speech at the Girls’ Day Out on the Sunday to see him. I wanted to share the launch with him, as he had been so supportive and encouraging of my journey with the book. He was proud of all that I achieved.
So it has been that birth and death, joy and sorrow have surrounded me until this day.
Last night, my dad took his final breath upon this earth… free at last from a body that had kept him trapped for too many years. I promised him that I would be okay and I know I will be… but for now sorrow has a place in my heart and I am going to honour that as I prepare my eulogy for his funeral and to say a final goodbye.
I feel so grateful that we knew where we stood with each other and that we knew deep in our hearts the love we felt. This morning I have already heard him talking to me from the world of spirit and I’m happy that he has now returned to a place of love and light.
This morning my boys made a sign ‘Peace 4 Pa!’… a perfect statement.
In this moment I am reminded of a poem from Kahlil Gibran about ‘Joy and Sorrow’ and I share this extract with you:
‘Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper the sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.’
For the moment my joy is sleeping…
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