It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Paige’s father died this morning. Like so many deaths, it is complex for the souls that survive the departed. Often painful, peaceful, awful, and merciful – all at once.
Paige and family are moving through the ‘all’ of it, and she is in generally good spirits as she travels south to gather with her loved ones. Please keep her (and the Getty family) in your thoughts, hearts, and/or prayers in the weeks to come. As Paige is still on her summer break, I invite you to direct any calls, emails, sentiments, or questions you may have to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) on her behalf. Feel free to also post any personal messages you have for her at the bottom of this message. In the meantime, Paige asked that we share this reflection of hers with you all (her UUCC family);
This morning my mother called to tell me that my father died during the night – in the wee morning hours of Monday, July 17, 2017.
Thank you, UUCC family, for all the love you’ve shown to me and my family as we have lived with the realities of Dad’s severe dementia, his move (2-½ years ago) into a memory care facility, and his marked decline in recent months.
In the last few weeks I’ve had several visits with Dad – including, most recently, a visit with Graham and both our kids. We all had our chance to remind him, and ourselves, of our love. And I assured him that we’ll all take care of each other when he’s gone … that he should feel confident to let go of this life … that I want nothing more than for him to be at peace. So, I am sad today, but also very relieved that he is now free of the miserable limits of his failing body and brain.
We returned just last Thursday from our visit to Georgia and Alabama – visiting lots of Gettys and Robertsons – and now I’m on my way back to Savannah to be with my mother and brother. We’ve been grieving Dad’s loss for years, but I know that his physical death is still a significant milestone. We will plan a funeral for later this week and, I expect, begin the final stages of grieving.
This morning I shared the news of his death with my two closest childhood friends – they’ve known and loved my parents for almost as long as I have. One of them offered a very fine tribute to this man whom so many of us adored: “You know, in my primitive faith structure there is still plenty of room for heaven. I know your dad is up there making all the insecure girls love themselves enough to be angels.”
I will rest secure in the knowledge that he loved me, and I loved him, and he is now at peace. That is enough for me.