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What’s Real and What’s Not?

by bevbarnes on April 12, 2011

Four years ago, on April 17, 2007 my Dad passed away. He was 77. He had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer six months before. Everyone at the funeral marvelled at how composed my Mom, my sister and I were. Now I know why. Because we knew that we were lucky.  He’d had a good death.  And we got to prepare for it and share it.
We were lucky because my Dad had been healthy all his life, so he was only really sick for six months.  Six months out of 77 years is a pretty good percentage. 
We were lucky because he was cared for at home, mostly by my Mom.  He was only occasionally in the hospital. 
We were lucky because nothing was left unsaid.  When you know someone is dying you stop putting things off until tomorrow.  I got to say everything I wanted to say to him.  I have no regrets.  I remember one time I went to see him and I said, “So what haven’t I said to you yet?”  He laughed and said “Yeah, yeah I know that you were scared of my big black coat when you were three and you wished I’d hugged you more.” 
But the gift we really had was rediscovering that the only thing that is real is love……nothing else. 
During the last six months of my father’s life, he was enveloped in an energy of love, peace and acceptance.  It was palpable in my parent’s house.  I wanted to languish in it.  When I left their house I was disappointed that I couldn’t feel that way all the time.  It was a bizarre paradox; my Dad was dying and I’d never felt love that was so real.  
My Dad was a man of faith and I don’t mean that he was a church goer.  He  had a deep faith in God.  He demonstrated his faith by his honesty and the impeccability of his word.  I believe that his faith connected him to a huge love while he was sick and I was lucky enough to feel that love when I was around him as he disconnected from this world and connected somewhere else.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt that only my Dad’s body was dying.  His essence was becoming a part of a bigger love somewhere else.  
Four years ago I wrote this in my journal:
My Dad having cancer, life and death, has made everything else insignificant. 
Everything that is not inspired by or motivated by love is insignificant. 
Nothing else is real. 
Love is the only thing that is real. 
EVERYTHING else is an illusion. 
I think that somewhere deep inside, we all know that the only thing that is real is love, but we forget.
On the anniversary of my father’s passing I am writing to remind you and me, that anything but love is an illusion.
The picture above is a family vacation.  A 14 year old me is on my father’s shoulders.  I look back fondly at that picture as one of our best family vacations. 
That’s what I remember.  
The love.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tiffany April 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

that was so beautiful.


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